RIVIÈRE-DU-LOUP, Que. – The Toronto Young Nationals (Central) have won the 2015 TELUS Cup, claiming Canada’s 42nd National Midget Championship with a 6-2 win over the Grenadiers de Châteauguay (Quebec) in Sunday’s gold medal game at Centre Premier Tech.
The victory gives Toronto its first gold medal, and just the second by a Central Region champion since the tournament went to a six-team regional format in 1984, joining the 2008 Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves. The Young Nationals won their third all-time medal, joining their silver from 1976 and bronze from 2001.
The Grenadiers are the first team since the 1994-95 Red Deer Chiefs, and just the third team ever, to lose in the gold medal game in back-to-back years. Châteauguay fell 4-3 in triple overtime to the Prince Albert Mintos in last year’s final.
On Sunday, Ryan Bonsteel scored two of the Young Nationals’ four first-period goals to help Toronto take a lead it would not relinquish. Bonsteel’s goals were sandwiched around markers from Lucas Breault and Nolan Regan as Toronto scored four times in 8:37 to chase Kyle Jessiman, the Top Goaltender award recipient, from the Châteauguay goal.
William Poirier scored for the Grenadiers in the second period, and Maxime Comtois added his ninth goal in five games in the third, but James Guest and Justin Herman scored shorthanded empty-net goals in the final minutes to clinch the win for Toronto and goaltender Dalton Ewing, who made 35 saves.
Earlier Sunday in the bronze medal game, the Regina Pat Canadians (West) topped the Strathmore Bisons (Pacific) 6-3 to take third place. Arthur Miller scored twice and added an assist to lead the way for Regina, which won its seventh medal in eight all-time appearances at the national championship.
The 2016 TELUS Cup will be held April 18-24, 2016 in Quispamsis, N.B., with the Saint John Vitos of the New Brunswick/Prince Edward Island Major Midget Hockey League serving as the host team.