April 30, 2017
by Jason La Rose
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Logan Chisholm tied the game with 5:51 left in the third period and then won it 5:39 into overtime, giving the Cape Breton West Islanders a historic TELUS Cup with a come-from-behind 5-4 win over the Blizzard du Séminaire Saint-François on Sunday afternoon.
The Islanders are the first Atlantic team to ever win the gold medal. In the previous 44 years of the tournament, only two – the 2002 Dartmouth Subways and 2016 Saint John Vito’s – had even reached the final.
With both teams generating chances in a back-and-forth overtime, Chisholm turned in the slot and let go a wrist shot that tipped off the glove of Philippe Gaudreault and fell in behind the Saint-François goaltender, setting off a raucous celebration in the CN Centre that was likely heard all the way back in Nova Scotia.
The winner came after Chisholm had poked a loose puck past a sprawled-out Gaudreault to force the extra period and complete the comeback from a two-goal deficit in the final 16 minutes.
The teams met Monday in the tournament opener, a 2-1 win for the Islanders, and it was quickly apparent the gold medal game would be nothing like the curtain-raiser.
Samuel Dickner got the scoring started for the Blizzard when he hammered a shot past Cape Breton West netminder Colten Ellis just 3:08 in, but Jacob Hudson – fresh off being named MVP on Saturday night – wired a shot past Gaudreault to tie the game just over two minutes later.
Yan-Cédric Gaudreault would restore the lead for the Quebec champions 25 seconds after the Hudson goal, only for Stephen Fox to sneak in a backhand and bring the Islanders even again 1:44 after that.
In all, the teams combined for four goals in a span of 4:46, and the race was on.
The Blizzard seemed to take control late in the opening frame, scoring twice in the final four minutes. Dickner was first, tucking a forehand around Ellis on a shorthanded breakaway, and Vincent Guy tipped in a Thomas Pelletier shot on the power play to send Saint-François to the intermission up 4-2.
Both goaltenders settled in after a wild opening period, keeping the score the same heading to the third.
Ellis was at his best in the final 20 minutes, making 22 saves, including a game-saving glove save off Dickner on another shorthanded break. After a shaky start he stopped 43 of 47, including the last 37 shots he faced.
Fox scored his second of the game at 4:38 of the third, picking the corner past the glove of Gaudreault, making it a one-goal game and setting up Chisholm for his late-game heroics.
The loss denied the Blizzard a record-setting fifth national title, and kept Quebec without a gold medal since the Gouverneurs de Ste-Foy – the team that became Saint-François – won the Air Canada Cup in 2001 with a double-overtime win in Prince George.
The 2018 TELUS Cup will be held in Sudbury, Ont., with the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves playing host.