Grant Thompson scored four goals, including a last-minute shorthanded marker that forced overtime and the game-winner 2:44 into the first extra frame, as the Mark’s Mount Pearl Blades downed the Moncton Vito’s 5-4 Wednesday in their opening game at the Don Johnson Memorial Cup Atlantic junior B hockey championship in Membertou. N.S.
Moncton was leading 3-0 midway through the second period before Stephen Predham got Mount Pearl on the board with a power-play marker. The Blades followed up quickly with another man-advantage marker just about a minute later, this time courtesy of Thompson, and drew even on another Thompson tally in the first minute of the third period.
But 14 seconds later, as Mount Pearl was still celebrating the tying goal, the New Brunswick champion Vito’s scored to go back in front and maintained that lead until Thompson’s shorthanded effort created the need for overtime.
Michael Broders had three assists for Mount Pearl, while goalie Brandon Short made 23 saves.
The Vito’s and St. John’s Junior Hockey League champion Blades are among five teams competing in the tourney, which features a round-robin format leading to weekend playoffs.
Mount Pearl has two games Thursday at the Membertou Sports and Wellness Centre, just outside Sydney, taking on the host Kameron Junior Miners and Western Red Wings of Prince Edward Island. The Blades finish up their preliminary schedule Friday versus the Nova Scotia representatives East Hants Penguins.
Semifinals are Saturday, with the championship game Sunday.