The Kensington Vipers moved into the win column at the 2019 Don Johnson Memorial Cup on Wednesday night, but it wasn’t easy.
The host Vipers held on for a nail-biting 5-4 victory over Newfoundland and Labrador’s CBR Renegades after opening up a seemingly comfortable 5-1 lead late in the middle frame.
The win improved the host Vipers’ record at the Atlantic junior B hockey championship tournament at Credit Union Place in Kensington to 1-1 (won-lost) while the Renegades, playing their second game of the day, fell to 0-2.
Round-robin play in the five-team tournament, which also includes the provincial champions from P.E.I. (Western Red Wings), New Brunswick (Moncton Vitos) and Nova Scotia (Sackville Blazers), continues through until Friday night. The top four teams will advance to Saturday’s semifinals at 3 and 7 p.m. The championship game is Sunday at 2 p.m.
Garrett Murray, Parker Ronahan and CJ McCardle all had a goal and an assist while Logan Vandervelden added two helpers to lead the Vipers’ offence against the Renegades. Kyle Pinksen and Jonathan Arsenault contributed single tallies. Riley Smith and Dylan Wheatley each added assists.
Nick Gosse netted a hat trick and assisted on another to lead the Renegades. Blake Fudge netted CBR’s other goal and Tyler Nickson was credited with three assists.
Kensington held period leads of 2-1 and 5-2. The Renegades struck for two goals 1:10 apart to make it a one-goal game with just over 11 minutes remaining, resulting in the Vipers calling a timeout.
Overall, the Vipers outshot the Renegades 44-38, but CBR held a 20-9 advantage in the third period. Caleb Coyle earned the goaltending win. CBR starting goaltender Jordan Blackmore gave up all five Kensington goals in 34:34 of action and Nathan Dunne was perfect after coming on in relief.
A total of five minor penalties were called in the game – three of those against the Renegades.
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At A Glance
Don Johnson Memorial Cup at a glance:
All games in Kensington:
Sackville Blazers 4 CBR Renegades 2
Western Red Wings 4 Moncton Vitos 2
Kensington Vipers 5 CBR Renegades 4
Western Red Wings 5 Kensington Vipers 3.
Thursday, April 25
Noon – Moncton Vitos vs. Sackville Blazers.
4 p.m. – Western Red Wings vs. CBR Renegades.
8 p.m. – Kensington Vipers vs. Sackville Blazers.
Friday, April 26
Noon – Moncton Vitos vs. CBR Renegades.
4 p.m. – Western Red Wings vs. Sackville Blazers.
8 p.m. – Kensington Vipers vs. Moncton Vitos.
End of round robin.
Saturday, April 27
3 p.m. – semifinal.
7 p.m. – semifinal.
Sunday, April 28
2 p.m. – championship game.