By Jason LaRose, Hockey Canada
CHILLIWACK, B.C. – Daniel Chenard was terrific in a 26-save performance, backstopping the Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL) to a 2-0 win over the Wellington Dukes (OJHL) on Tuesday night and a berth in the semifinals at the 2018 RBC Cup.
Will Calverley and Corey Andonovski scored the goals for the Chiefs, who have earned points in all three games (overtime loss, overtime win, regulation win). It is the 15th consecutive year the host team has qualified for the weekend; the last to miss out on the semifinals was Charlottetown in 2003.
Calverley picked up right where he left off from his four-goal game Sunday, getting his stick on a Bryan Allbee shot for a power-play goal and a 1-0 Chiefs lead less than eight minutes into the first period.
Chilliwack carried the play in the opening frame, outshooting the Dukes 15-6, but Wellington goaltender Jonah Capriotti ensured his team only trailed by a goal after 20 minutes.
Andonovski pushed the lead to two at 6:36 of the second period, taking advantage of a turnover deep in the Wellington zone and snapping a quick wrist shot to the far corner past Capriotti.
The goaltenders took over from there – Capriotti finished with 40 saves in the loss, while Chenard stood tallest in the third period when the Dukes peppered him with 12 shots in a frantic attempt to get back into the game.
The result ended a run of six consecutive one-goal games to open the tournament, the longest such streak in the 48-year history of Canada’s National Junior A Championship.
Both teams will close out the preliminary round Thursday. The Dukes are first, taking on the unbeaten Wenatchee Wild (BCHL) (2 p.m. PT), before the Chiefs meet the Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (7 p.m. PT).
Photo credit: Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images