It was a tough start to the 2019 Fred Page Cup for the Maritime Junior Hockey League teams. Despite outshooting their opponent 46-32, the MHL champion Yarmouth Mariners were edged out 3-2 by the LHJQ champion Princeville Titan, while the host Amherst Ramblers lost 4-1 to the Ottawa Jr. Senators.
Day 2 of the Fred Page Cup on Thursday at Amherst Stadium will feature Ottawa against Princeville at 3 p.m., with Yarmouth and Amherst squaring off at 7:30 in an all-MHL matchup. The action is live on Eastlink Community TV channels 10 and 610, as well as online on HockeyTV. The round robin wraps up Friday, with the semifinal on Saturday and final on Sunday. The winner will advance to the National Jr. A Championship in Brooks, Alberta from May 11th to 19th.
GAME 1: PRINCEVILLE 3 - YARMOUTH 2
In the tournament opener on Wednesday, Princeville had heavy pressure early in the 1st period, outshooting Yarmouth 7-1 at one point, but a powerplay at 7:30 turned the tables and the Mariners finished a scoreless period with a 17-9 shot advantage. In the 2nd period, on another Mariners powerplay, Titan forward Dominic Cormier cut around the Yarmouth defense and beat goaltender Tyler Caseley to give Princeville a 1-0 lead. The shorthanded goal came at 4:53. Princeville would make it 2-0 before the period ended as William Bergeron scored on a one-timer to the left of Caseley at 18:36. Yarmouth outshot Princeville 15-11 in the 2nd period but was still held off the scoresheet.
That would change just 17 seconds into the 3rd period as Logan Timmons cut Princeville's lead to 2-1. The Yarmouth forward would tie the game at 12:53 as his shot snuck by Titan goaltender Mathieu Bellemare. It looked as though the opening game could be heading to overtime, but an interference penalty against Zachery Bennett put Princeville on the powerplay with 4:38 remaining. Titan defenseman Joakim Paradis' shot from the point was tipped, with the puck rolling towards the goal where Jeremy Cote deflected it at 16:54 to give Princeville the lead back for good at 3-2.
Timmons was named player of the game for the Mariners. Goaltender Bellemare was named player of the game for Princeville. The Titan were 2 for 5 on the powerplay, while Yarmouth was 0 for 8.
GAME 2: OTTAWA 4 – AMHERST 1
In the second game of the day, the host Amherst Ramblers took on the Ottawa Jr. Senators who enter as the defending Fred Page Cup champions. The CCHL champions took the lead at 6:24. A shot from the point from Danny Pion was tipped into the net by Colin Marshall. Then at 14:57, Noah Rowe beat Amherst goaltender Matt Williams on a one-timer down low to extend the Ottawa lead to 2-0. The Jr. Senators outshot the Ramblers 18-7 in the period.
A back and forth 2nd period had few whistles and chances for each side, notably for Amherst on a pair of powerplays. The score remained 2-0 for Ottawa until the final minute of play. With the Jr. Senators on a powerplay, Darcy Walsh wired a shot high over Williams from the faceoff dot for a 3-0 lead over Amherst with 24.5 seconds remaining. Shots were even in the 2nd period at 11-11.
The Ramblers opened the 3rd period with a number of chances, but couldn't solve goaltender Francis Boisvert. Ottawa were kept in their own end for most of the first eight minutes of the period. On their first shot of the period, at 8:18, David Toppa extended the Jr. Senators lead to 4-0. Jacob Melanson would break the shutout at 11:19 to get Amherst on the board and cut the lead to 4-1. That's as close as the Ramblers would get, however. Shots on goal for the game were 38-30 for Ottawa. The players of the game were David Toppa for the Jr. Senators and Jacob Melanson for the Ramblers.