Lucas Beaulieu’s late goal proved to be the difference for the Western Red Wings on Tuesday night.
Beaulieu scored with 4:10 remaining in the third period to break a 3-3 tie and help send the Island Junior Hockey League-champion Red Wings to a 5-3 victory over the host Kensington Vipers in the opening game of the 2019 Don Johnson Memorial Cup.
Round-robin play in the Atlantic junior B hockey championship tournament continues with three games on Wednesday. Nova Scotia’s Sackville Blazers take on the CBR Renegades from Newfoundland and Labrador at noon, the Red Wings face New Brunswick’s Moncton Vitos at 4 p.m., and the Vipers meet Sackville at 8 p.m.
The top four teams at the end of the round robin advance to Saturday’s semifinals at 3 and 7 p.m. The final is Sunday at 2 p.m.
Right down to final minute
Despite it being election night on P.E.I. and the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs playing Game 7, the contest between the two arch-rivals drew a good crowd to Credit Union Centre. They were kept on the edge of their seats until the game’s final minute.
With the teams tied 3-3, Beaulieu unleashed a hard shot from the left point that beat Kensington Vipers goaltender Cameron Visser high on the stick side with 4:10 remaining in the third period. That stood up as the game-winning goal, and Beaulieu completed a two-point night assisting on Isaac Knox’s empty-net goal with 37 seconds.
Isaac Callaghan, Connor Morrissey and Nick Reeves also scored for the Abram-Village-based Red Wings. Chandler Wood (3), Silas Handrahan (2), Carter Cahill, Alex Morrissey and Calvin McRae contributed assists.
Parker Ronahan (1-1), Riley Smith and Logan Vandervelden countered for the Vipers. Single helpers were credited to Riley Gallant, Kyle Pinksen and Ryan Richards.
The Red Wings led 2-0 after the first period and held a 3-1 advantage in the middle frame, before taking a 3-2 cushion into the second intermission.
Winning goaltender Bronson Banks stopped 42 of 45 shots, including 21 of 23 shots in the second period. Cameron Visser made 43 saves on 47 shots for the Vipers.
Referees Travis Timmons and Jeff Affleck called eight of the game’s 11 minor penalties against the Red Wings. The Vipers were assessed one double minor for spearing.
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