NBHAC Member Shines in the Net versus Junior Team Canada
TORONTO (From CIS web site with files from Hockeycanada.ca) – Defenceman Spencer Abraham from Queen's University scored the shootout winner and had two assists in regulation to lead the CIS men's hockey all-stars to a 5-4 victory over Canada's National Junior Team prospects in the first leg of a two-game series at the MasterCard Centre, Saturday night.
Forwards Eric Locke of StFX, with two, and Alex Saulnier of Moncton and Olivier Hinse of Concordia with one apiece scored in regulation as Team CIS overcame an early 2-0 deficit before relinquishing 3-2 and 4-3 leads of its own later in the contest.
The all-AUS line of Locke (2-1-3), Saulnier (1-2-3) and Stephen MacAulay of Saint Mary's (0-1-1) ended up with seven points.
Queen's goaltender Kevin Bailie was outstanding in the win with a 40-save performance as Team Canada finished with a 44-32 advantage in shots on goal.
"It's pretty rare for a defenceman to be called upon in a shootout but I think I'm 4-for-4 now in my career," said Abraham, a native of Campbellville, Ont., who played for Brampton and Erie in the OHL before being named the CIS rookie of the year in 2014-15. "I went to my go-to move, a nice toe-drag, and pretty much had an open net."
Abraham lifted a backhand past Mason McDonald (Charlottetown, QMJHL) to give Team CIS the win.
"Our goal coming into the series was to win both games, so it was a solid start for us tonight," said Team CIS head coach Shawn Camp from the University of Guelph. "We battled hard on every loose puck and we managed the puck really well. We gave ourselves a chance to win in the shootout and we're pretty please right now. Very happy with the overall effort."
Team Canada got goals from Mitchell Stephens (Saginaw, OHL), Travis Dermott (Erie, OHL), Julien Gauthier (Val-d'Or, QMJHL) and Anthony Beauvillier (Shawinigan, QMJHL). Gauthier also added a pair of assists.
The junior squad got on the board first, 9:21 into the opening period, when Stephens flipped in a backhand from the low slot.
Dermott doubled the Canadian lead at the 12:35 mark, but moments later Locke and Hinse replied with a pair of goals a mere 15 seconds apart to even things up 2-2 heading into the first intermission.
Team CIS took the lead late in the middle period; Saulnier took a centering pass from the side boards and beat McDonald high from the slot.
Two minutes later Gauthier tipped in Sanheim's point shot to make it 3-3.
Locke finished off a passing play on the man-advantage to pick up his second goal of the game, 7:22 into the third, but Beauvillier brought Canada even with less than three to play in regulation.
The story of the game was special teams. Team Canada drew the first three penalties of the evening, converting on two of those chances. But its own lack of discipline led to the CIS' go-ahead goal in the third, and nearly cost the team in overtime, when Team CIS started the extra period on the power play.
The extra space afforded from playing four-on-three on the international-size ice brought quality scoring chances, but both teams' shot blockers and goalies were up to the task.
Game two on Sunday afternoon saw Junior Team Canada win 5-0.