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Sunday, May. 19, 2019
Team NOHA still with a fighting chance at OHL Cup
by Randy Pascal

Heading into the final day of round robin play, Team NOHA have given themselves a fighting chance of moving on to the quarter-finals at the 2019 OHL Cup in Toronto.

The northern crew doubled the previously undefeated Toronto Red Wings 4-2 on Thursday, improving their record to 2-1-0 and creating the potential for a logjam come Friday that will require a tie-breaking formula to sort out.

Coach Kyle Brick and company opened the tournament Wednesday morning with a solid 4-1 win over the Kitchener Jr Rangers, jumping out to a 3-0 first period lead on goals from Devon Savignac, Mitchell Martin and Zacharie Giroux, and clinching it in the third with a tally from defenceman Joshua Kavanagh.

Jake Marois turned aside 15 of the 16 shots he faced in picking up the win between the pipes. Team NOHA played well again in the afternoon encounter, deadlocked in a 1-1 tie, midway through the third, when Brenden Sirizotti capitalized on a Whitby power play, netting the game-winning goal with 11:25 displayed on the clock.

Ryan Winterton (Whitby) and Chase Stillman (NOHA) traded goals earlier in the contest, with Winterton icing the victory for the Wildcats, finding the empty-net late in period three.

All of which created a key match-up earlier today for the team that features a bevy of local talent, facing a Red Wings team that had already beaten both Whitby (4-1) and the Mississauga Rebels (4-1).

The northern all-stars actually spotted Toronto an early 2-0 lead, roaring back on goals from Jack Matier and Savignac to equalize matters before the contest was eight minutes old.

With things settling down, Ethan Marois would bury what would stand as the eventual difference maker, converting a pass from Savignac at the 8:50 mark of the middle frame. Just over four minutes later, Kavanagh provided a little extra breathing room, connecting with the north on a man advantage, and Ben Gaudreau made it stand, stopping 38 of the 40 shots directed his way.

Team NOHA will face the 1-1 Rebels on Friday morning at 8:00 a.m., with the Rebels bouncing back from their loss to Toronto, easily getting the better of the Kitchener Jr Rangers by a final count of 6-1.

At a glance, the tie-breaker would appear to favour the Red Wings and Team NOHA, based on GF vs GA, with Toronto at 6-5, NOHA at 5-5, and Whitby at 4-5 in head to head games involving the three teams.

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