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GTHL Blue Defends OHL Gold Cup Title

Dan Hickling

From OntarioHockeyLeague.com

For the second straight year, GTHL Blue are OHL Gold Cup champions after defeating GTHL Red by a score of 5-4 on Sunday at the Activa Sportsplex in Kitchener, Ont.

The ALLIANCE skated to a bronze medal victory while the HEO and OMHA Black were also winners in the event finale.

Don Mills Flyers teammates Brandt Clarke (BAR, 3-5–8) of GTHL Red and Brennan Othmann (FLNT, 3-5–8) of GTHL Blue tied for the tournament scoring lead with eight points apiece. Clarke becomes the first defenceman to lead the event in scoring since OMHA White’s Evan Bouchard (London Knights) in 2015.

In goal, HEO’s Patrick Leaver (OSH) led all netminders with a 1.53 goals-against average and .929 save percentage while NOHA netminder Jake Marois turned in a tournament-high 103 saves.

Here’s a closer look at Championship action from Sunday.

CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL:
GTHL BLUE 5 (4-0-0-0) – GTHL RED 4 (2-2-0-0)

Trailing 4-3 midway through the third period, Braedan Kressler (FLNT) and Pasquale Zito (WSR) scored less than three minutes apart to turn the tables and crown GTHL Blue OHL Gold Cup champions for a second straight year.

The 5-4 victory came in the event’s second consecutive all-GTHL Final as the Red squad thundered out to a 2-0 lead on first period goals from twin brothers Alex and Paul Christopoulos (NB).

Marc Boudreau (SSM) opened up the second period with a highlight reel goal from his knees to put GTHL Red in the driver’s seat 3-0 before GTHL Blue rallied for three goals in seven minutes, coming off the sticks of Oliver Smith (BAR), Tucker Robertson (PBO) and Aidan Shepard (NB).

Brandt Clarke (BAR) reinstated the GTHL Red lead, making the score 4-3 with 5:10 to go in the second before GTHL Blue mounted its comeback to capture the OHL Gold Cup title in the third.

Justin Wu (KIT) earned the win with a 21-save performance in goal opposed GTHL Red’s Josh Rosenzweig (NIAG) who turned aside 23.

PLAYER OF THE GAME:
GTHL Blue: Oliver Smith (BAR) – 1G, 1A
GTHL Red: Paul Christopoulos (NB) – 1G

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