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British Columbia wins 2021 WHL Cup in Red Deer

Rob Wallator/WHL

Red Deer, Alta. – For the first time since 2017, British Columbia has claimed the WHL Cup championship following a 5-2  victory over Alberta in the gold medal game Sunday at Peavey Mart Centrium. This represents the third time in WHL Cup history that B.C. has risen to the top, having previously won the tournament in 2012 and 2017.

Gold Medal Game: Alberta (2) vs. British Columbia (5) – SCORING SUMMARY

While the outcome reads 5-2, this was a much closer game than the final score indicated, with B.C. adding two empty-net insurance markers in the final 60 seconds of regulation to pad a 3-2 lead.

Chetwynd product Cayden Lindstrom came through at the right time with his first goal of the 2021 WHL Cup, striking 4:35 into the third period to B.C. a 3-1 advantage. Lindstrom’s marker went on to stand as the eventual game winner as Alberta made it a one-goal game less than 10 minutes later. Garrett Thom converted while short handed to register his third goal of the tournament and make it 3-2. Thom, a product of Edmonton, also provided an assist to finish the day with two points (1G-1A) for Alberta.

Aside from Lindstrom, B.C. received second-period scoring from Hiroki Gojsic, who notched his fourth goal of the tournament, and William McIssac, who found the back of the net for the first time.

Alberta’s first goal of the day came courtesy Gavin Garland’s third strike of the week.

Thanks to an empty-net goal, North Vancouver’s Carson Wetsch (1G-1A) enjoyed a multi-point afternoon for Team B.C.

In net, Kamloops product Jesse Sanche made 30 saves to secure the gold medal for B.C.

Bronze Medal Game: Saskatchewan (3) vs. Manitoba (2) – SCORING SUMMARY

A late power-play tally from Prince Albert’s Ashton Tait boosted Saskatchewan to a 3-2 victory and a bronze medal win over Team Manitoba to wrap up the 2021 WHL Cup on Sunday at Peavey Mart Centrium.

Tait’s goal snapped a 2-2 tie with only 2:51 remaining in regulation.

Team Manitoba opened the scoring thanks to a first-period tally from Winnipeg product Cole Cairns. Saskatchewan drew even in the first period, with Saskatoon’s Trae Wilke finding the back of the net at the 14:39 mark.

Tyson Buczkowski gave Saskatchewan its first lead of the day, registering his first goal of the tournament late in the second period.

Hayden Moore tallied his first goal of the 2021 WHL Cup 8:08 into the third period, setting the stage for a dramatic finish and tying the game 2-2 before Tait’s late power-play effort provided Saskatchewan with the difference maker.

Wilke finished the game with two points (1G-1A), while Cole Peardon notched two assists for Saskatchewan’s only other multi-point effort on the day.

Defenceman Jonas Woo recorded two helpers for Team Manitoba and Cairns (1G-1A) also finished with a multi-point game.

Between the pipes, Chase Wutzke turned aside 31 of 33 shots to backstop Saskatchewan to victory.

WHL Cup - Tournament Allstars

2021 WHL Cup All-Star Team

Goaltender – Ethan McCallum (Manitoba)
Defence – Keith McInnis (Alberta)
Defence – Jonas Woo (Manitoba)
Forward – Jordan Gavin (British Columbia)
Forward – Miguel Marque (British Columbia)
Forward – Tomas Mrsic (British Columbia)

2021 WHL Cup Leading Scorers

  1. Miguel Marques (BC) – 5G-5A – 10pts
  2. Jordan Gavin (BC) – 4G-5A – 9pts
  3. Tomas Mrsic (BC) – 4G-5A – 9pts
  4. Oliver Josephson (BC) – 4G-3A – 7pts
  5. Zane Saab (Alberta) – 5G-1A – 6pts

2021 WHL Cup Leading Goaltenders

  1. Evan Gardner (BC) – .953 SV%
  2. Madden Mulawka (Alberta) – .935 SV%
  3. Jesse Sanche (BC) – .908 SV%
  4. Ethan McCallum (Manitoba) – .904 SV%
  5. Chase Wutzke (Saskatchewan) – .889 SV%

 

About the WHL Cup
The majority of players participating in the event will be selected in the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft, or will go on to be listed by WHL Clubs. The WHL Cup, formerly known as the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup, has been sponsored since 2009 by the Western Hockey League.

This year will mark the ninth year of the event. The first ever WHL Cup was held in Blackfalds, Alta., in 2009 and featured four of the top eight players selected in the 2012 NHL Draft. In 2011, the Moose Jaw Warriors and Hockey Saskatchewan hosted the event at Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw, Sask. In 2012 and 2013, the tournament was hosted in Calgary at Father David Bauer Arena, the home of the WHL. From 2015 through 2019, the WHL Cup was hosted in Calgary at the Markin MacPhail Centre.

In 2010, 2014, and 2018, the WHL Cup was not contested due to the Canada Winter Games.

Team Alberta is a five-time champion of the WHL Cup, hoisting the trophy in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2016, while Team British Columbia won the event in 2012 and 2017. Team Saskatchewan is the defending champion of the WHL Cup, having won the tournament in 2019, beating Team Manitoba 4-2 in the Gold Medal game.

About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 375 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.

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