PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. – After posting semifinal wins Saturday, the Carleton Place Canadians and host Portage Terriers will meet Sunday for the 2015 RBC Cup, Canada’s 45th National Junior A Championship. The Canadians defeated the Penticton Vees 2-1 in double overtime in the early semifinal, while Portage topped the Melfort Mustangs 6-1 in the early game.
Sunday’s championship game faces off at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT live on TSN, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partners (check local listings for broadcast times).
The Canadians are back in the championship game for the second year in a row after losing 4-3 in overtime to the Yorkton Terriers one year ago; they are the first team since the 1998 South Surrey Eagles to get back to the championship game the year after losing in the final. Carleton Place will look to become just the third team from the Central Canada Hockey League to be crowned national champions, joining the Rockland Nationals in 1976 and Pembroke Lumber Kings in 2011.
The Terriers, who are making their fifth appearance at Canada’s National Junior A Championship, will look to win their second national title; they claimed the Centennial Cup in 1973 when the final was a best-of-seven series between East and West champions. Portage is trying to become the first host team to win the RBC Cup since the Weyburn Red Wings in 2005, and the first team from the Manitoba Junior Hockey League to be the country’s best since the Selkirk Steelers in 1974.
In Saturday’s early semifinal, Jordan Larson scored 3:43 into the second overtime and Guillaume Therien made 36 saves, sending the Canadians back to the final. Carleton Place captain Stephen Baylis and Penticton forward Tyson Jost traded second-period goals for the only scoring in regulation time in the longest semifinal at the tournament since the Prince George Spruce Kings and Camrose Kodiaks went five overtimes in 2007.
In the late game, Jordyn Boyd had a pair of goals, Zack Waldvogel added a goal and an assist, and the Terriers became the 14th host team since 1990 to advance to the championship game. Garick Gray, Taylor Friesen and Brett Orr did the rest of the scoring for Portage, which didn’t allow Melfort to reach double digits in shots on goal until the 13:34 mark of the third period, and improved to 36-3-1 on home ice this season.
The teams met last Sunday in preliminary round action, with Carleton Place earning a 3-0 victory.