Forward William Calverley collected three points in the win
QUISPAMSIS, N.B. – William Calverley scored two goals and added an assist to lead the North York Rangers to a 5-3 semifinal win over the Lloydminster Bobcats on Saturday and clinch a berth in the gold medal game at the 2016 TELUS Cup.
The Rangers will face either the Lions du Lac St-Louis or Saint John Vito’s in Sunday’s final (5 p.m. AT on TSN).
It’s the second consecutive year a team from the Greater Toronto Hockey League has advanced to play for gold; the Toronto Young Nationals won the national title last year in Rivière-du-Loup, Que.
James Turner and Mark Perone had a goal and an assist each, Sean Josling also scored, and Aidan Casey added two assists for North York, which avenged its preliminary-round loss to Lloydminster on Friday.
Parker Saretsky, T.J. Lloyd and Tristan Petrie scored for the Bobcats, who erased a 3-1 deficit to tie the game late in the third period, but will play for the bronze medal on Sunday (noon AT).
North York started quickly, scoring twice in the first period; Perone’s wrist shot beat a screened Austin McGrath at 1:55, and Calverley tapped a rebound past the Lloydminster goaltender at 17:12.
The Bobcats got back within one just past the five-minute mark of the second period when Petrie snapped a rebound over the shoulder of North York goaltender Jett Alexander, but Josling took advantage of a friendly bounce off the end boards to restore the Rangers’ two-goal advantage on the power play at 14:36.
With time running out on Lloydminster’s TELUS Cup chances, T.J. Lloyd got the rally started when he beat a screened Alexander with a point shot at 8:49.
Saretsky tied the game at 15:37, knocking in a rebound, and Bryce Kindopp had a chance to put the Bobcats ahead with a breakaway chance just seconds later, but Alexander closed the five-hole to keep it 3-3.
The Rangers turned the Alexander save into a rush the other way, and Turner beat McGrath on a partial breakaway with a Lloydminster defenceman draped all over him, giving North York the lead for good with 5:35 remaining.
Alexander closed the door the rest of the way, turning back a number of scoring chances by the Bobcats, and Calverley sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 36 seconds to go.
“[Playing for gold] will be an amazing experience for our players, parents, fans, and our entire organization. We will be ready to battle from start to finish. I’m very proud of my team right now.”
– Rob Vessio, head coach, North York Rangers
“We know that we will be playing a fast and skilled team; we have to be prepared for an intense game and take it period by period.”
– William Calverley, forward, North York Rangers
“We felt we had good energy in the third period; our team never gave up and that’s how we played all season long. Our fans gave us the intensity to push more and they played a number-one role in our win. We know they will be helping us again tomorrow. It should be a great game.”
– Ken Dobson, head coach, Saint John Vito’s
“It’s the most important goal of my career so far, there’s no doubt about it. I took a rebound and all I wanted to do was to hit the net. When I heard the crowd, it gave me chills. It’s an amazing feeling.”
– Alex Lafrenière, forward, Saint John Vito’s