Thunder Bay, Ont.
CANTONNIERS WRAP UP TOP SPOT WITH WIN OVER YOUNG NATS
JASON LA ROSE
THUNDER BAY, Ont. – Isaac Belliveau, Jérémy Lapointe and Justin Robidas scored in the final nine minutes to lead the Cantonniers de Magog past the Toronto Young Nationals 4-1 on Thursday afternoon at the 2019 TELUS Cup.
The victory moves the Cantonniers to a perfect 4-0 and assures them of first place in the preliminary round. Toronto dropped to 2-2 and into a three-way tie with Calgary and Tisdale for second place.
The game looked destined to finish in the first tie of the week until Belliveau jumped in off the point to wire home the go-ahead goal on the power play with 8:48 remaining.
Lapointe stuffed in his own rebound for another man-advantage marker less than two minutes later to add a little insurance, and Robidas spun in the slot and put the last nail in the Toronto coffin in the final seconds.
Lapointe finished with a pair of goals, while Kaylen Gauthier chipped in two assists.
The first period belonged to the goaltenders; Magog netminder Xavier Dupont and Toronto counterpart Sean Wu combined for 22 saves in the opening 20 minutes, getting the game to the intermission scoreless.
Lapointe finally broke through eight minutes into the second period with a goal-of-the-tournament candidate, splitting the Young Nationals defence and tucking a one-handed shot around Wu.
Daniel Torrealba got that back for Toronto just 21 seconds into the third, gathering in a rebound in the slot and snapping a quick shot that slipped past Dupont.
The Young Nationals failed to muster much in the way of offence after that, though, managing just seven shots on goal in the final frame.
Magog had a 35-20 edge in shots overall.
The Cantonniers will try and finish a perfect prelims against the Thunder Bay Kings on Friday night (6:30 p.m. ET), while the Young Nationals will face off against the Tisdale Trojans (11 a.m. ET) with a spot in the semifinals on the line.