TRENTON, Ont. – A pair of Zach Tupker tallies in the final period helped send CCHL Robinson past Team Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League 3-1 Monday in their opening game of the Eastern Canada Cup All-Star Challenge taking place in Trenton, Ont.
A nifty back early in the contest saw Team NOJHL get on the board first as Nick Techel (Soo Eagles) darted behind the net taking CCHL Robinson starter Jeremie Forget with him across his crease before he dropped the puck back to the other side to an open Christian Bardarson (Soo Eagles) who was left with a tap in at 3:45.
The CCHL drew level later in the frame off a rebound in front that NOJHL netminder Brandon Gordon (Soo Thunderbirds) could not corral and bounced over to Brendan Browne who had time to lift the equalizer over top a sprawled Gordon at 10:51.
Featuring a two 20-minute period format in the ECCASC, it was the CCHL that boasted the majority of chances in the first frame outshooting the NOJHLers 14-4 in the session.
CCHL Robinson took the lead near the midway point of the final stanza moments after killing off a penalty as Zach Tupker broke in on a partial breakaway and slid the go ahead marker underneath Gordon.
Tupker then added some insurance a couple shifts later as he neatly redirected a Mathieu Franche blast from the right point that soared into the top corner of the net.
Gordon was stellar despite the defeat for Team NOJHL, who were outshot 28-8 overall.
Team NOJHL returns to the ice twice Tuesday starting against the Quebec Junior Hockey League’s Burrows Division selects at 10 a.m. before concluding the day vs. OJHL Hawerchuk at 4 p.m.
All Eastern Canada Cup All-Star Challenge contests are streamed online at HockeyTV.com.