By Ron Valentine
HAMILTON, Ont. – Team West got a pair of goals, along with two assists, from Alex Young (Canmore Eagles, AJHL) to help lead his side to a 6-4 victory Tuesday night in the Canadian Junior Hockey League Prospects Game Tuesday evening at Dave Andreychuk Arena in Hamilton, Ont.
Team West went up 2-0 in the first period on goals from Young and Michael Benning, son of ex-NHLer Brian, of the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders.
Just before the middle point of the second session, Carter Savoie of the Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL) made it 3-0.
Getting on the board Matteo Costantini (Buffalo Jr. Sabres, OJHL) connected off a wrist shot on a power play, assisted by Ben Kennette for the East as the cut into the deficit.
A strong start to the final session saw the West tally twice beginning with Danny Weight (Penticton Vees, BCHL), son of ex-NHLer Doug Weight, of the BCHL’s Penticton Vees and the second from Young.
A redirect From Cole Hara assisted by Ryan Tverberg and Brunette cut the West lead to 5-2 but it would quickly be 6-2 as Stanley Cooley of the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints countered moments later.
Team East was not done as Finn Brown (St. Michel’s Buzzers, OJHL) stole the puck and scored unassisted and at the two-minute mark head coach Corey Beer of the Timmins Rock (NOJHL) pulled the goalie and two minutes of sustained pressure followed with Cameron Last of the Rockland Nationals (CCHL) getting the final tally of the evening.
The game was a terrific showcase of talent in the CJHL much appreciated by the fans and the large flotilla of NHL and university scouts.
Captain of Team West Luke Mylymok of the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks was presented with the Presidents Cup by Brent Ladds. Player of the game for Team West was Young and for Team East Ryan Alexander.
To a man all of the players in the game were very excited to have spent the two days in Hamilton with on and off-ice training culminating with the game which showcased the talent in Junior A across the country.
Luc Wilson of the Cowichan Valley Capitals of the BCHL spoke for all the players with his own comments.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity and humbled to be selected. I think it’s an amazing opportunity to showcase my game, meet new teammates and old friends, learn and have fun. It’s a blessing to have my parents and twin brother be able to fly here and take in the game.”
Earning player of the game honours were Young and Alexander.
Ross Hawryluk handled all 10 shots he faced for the West while Jackson Glassford gave up four on 18 chances, but got the win.
For the East, Devon Levi allowed three for the East while Reece Proulx turned aside 15 of 18 as the goaltenders, on both sides, divided the time in net.
With the result, Team West has now won four straight CJHL Prospect Games and have come away victorious 10 of 15 contests between the two sides in the 15-year history of the event.
All-Time CJHL Prospects Game President’s Cup results
SEASON: RESULT (LOCATION)
2005-06: West 5 East 4 (Yorkton, Sask.)
2006-07: West 6 East 2 (Vernon, B.C.)
2007-08: East 5 West 3 (Winkler, Man.)
2008-09: East 6 West 3 (Summerside, P.E.I.)
2009-10: West 8 East 3 (8-1, 0-2) (Winkler, Man.)
2010-11: East 9 West 2 (2-1 SO, 7-1) (Dauphin, Man.)
2011-12: West 9 East 6 (4-3 OT, 5-3) (Langley, B.C.)
2012-13: West 8 East 6 (5-0, 3-6) (Digby/Yarmouth, N.S.)
2013-14: East 8 West 4 (4-2, 4-2) (Digby/Yarmouth, N.S.)
2014-15: West 3 East 2 (Oakville, Ont.)
2015-16: East 3 West 1 (Surrey, B.C.)
2016-17: West 4 East 3 (Cornwall, Ont.)
2017-18: West 5 East 2 (Mississauga, Ont.)
2018-19: West 5 East 2 (Okotoks, Alta.)
2019-20: West 6 East 4
Photo credit: Michael Hall
About the author: Ron Valentine resides in Hamilton and covers Jr. A hockey in his community and region.