MACS AND KINGS SKATE TO TIE AT TELUS CUP
JASON LA ROSE
THUNDER BAY, Ont. – Jacob Goobie and Eric Vanska stole the show, combining for 54 saves as the Halifax Macs and Thunder Bay Kings finished in a 1-1 tie Thursday night at the 2019 TELUS Cup.
The draw eliminates the Kings from semifinal contention; they are the seventh host team in the last decade to miss out on the final four.
The Macs, meanwhile, must win their prelim finale Friday to have a shot at the weekend.
Knowing they needed the full two points to stay alive, Thunder Bay pulled Vanska with 1:07 to go. The Macs ended up with the better scoring chances (a goal and a win would have made their road to the semis a lot simpler) but they couldn't bury the game-winner.
Halifax was quick onto the scoreboard; Liam Keeping gathered in a pass in the high slot and wired a shot low to the blocker side of Vanska to give the Atlantic Region champions a 1-0 lead on the power play just 3:46 in.
But Vanska was rock-solid from there, finishing with 25 stops, 12 of which came in the second period.
Thunder Bay finally broke through near the 13-minute mark of the second period when Mackenzie Sedgwick crashed the net and chipped a rebound up and over Goobie to excite the hometown crowd at the Fort William Gardens.
That was the only one of 30 shots to beat the Halifax netminder, an effort punctuated with a how-did-he-do-that diving paddle save off Peter Hannula midway through the final frame.
Halifax closes out the preliminary round Friday afternoon against the Calgary Buffaloes (3 p.m. ET), while the Kings will see their season come to an end in their finale against the unbeaten Cantonniers de Magog (6:30 p.m. ET).