Evans scores OT winner as Ottawa edges Wellington in RBC Cup opener

By Jason LaRose, Hockey Canada

CHILLIWACK, B.C. – Finn Evans tipped in a Zachary Salloum wrist shot just 61 seconds into overtime, giving the Ottawa Jr. Senators (CCHL) a come-from-behind 2-1 win over the Wellington Dukes (OJHL) in the curtain-raiser Saturday afternoon at the 2018 RBC Cup.

With the Jr. Senators on their eighth power play of the game, Evans parked himself at the top of the crease and redirected the winner past Wellington goaltender Jonah Capriotti.

The game was a battle of Ontario, with the champions of the Ontario Junior Hockey League and Central Canada Hockey League facing off. The win by Ottawa means the CCHL has won five of the last six meetings, although the OJHL still holds a 6-5 edge overall.

After three early man advantages failed to produce a goal for Ottawa, the Dukes took over in the first period and opened the scoring on a power play of their own; Frank Pucci picked up a Mason Snell rebound at the side of the net and buried the 1-0 goal.

The Jr. Sens got even early in the second when Evans sprung Elie Boulerice, who raced down the right wing and picked his spot past the blocker of Capriotti to make it 1-1.

Capriotti and Ottawa counterpart Connor Hicks took over from there, going save for save – including point-blank beauties at both ends of the ice – to get the game to an extra period. Capriotti finished with 24 stops, while Hicks answered with 21 of his own.

The Jr. Senators will look to make it back-to-back wins when they take on the host Chilliwack Chiefs on Sunday night (7 p.m. PT), while the Dukes are off until a meeting with the Steinbach Pistons on Monday (7 p.m. PT).

Photo credit: Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images