Tough loss for Caribous in Allan Cup final

Brendan McCarthy
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Clarenville downed in overtime by host Dundas Real McCoys

The Clarenville Caribous can only hope the third time is the charm and that they get to experience the same success as recent Allan Cup tournament hosts.
Randy Rowe scored in overtime to give the Dundas Real McCoys their first-ever Allan Cup Canadian senior hockey championship with a 3-2 win over the Caribous on Saturday in Dundas, Ont., a suburb of Hamilton.

Caribous logo

It marked the second straight year Clarenville has finished as Allan Cup runner-up to the host team, having lost to the Bentley, Alta., Generals in the 2013 national senior final in Red Deer. However, the Caribous — who did win the Allan Cup in 2011 — areguaranteed another shot at the Canadian title in 2015 as they will host next year’s event.

The winning goal on Saturday came with 6:18 remaining in the first OT frame. Rowe, who appeared in 17 games for the American Hockey League’s St. John’s Maple Leafs in 2003-04, scooped up the puck after a scrambly face-off win by Dundas and fired a shot past Clarenville’s Jason Churchill, who had been involved in a terrific goaltending duel with the Real McCoy’s Mike Mole.

The pair had been the two best goalies on the two best entries in the six-team Allan Cup tourney — both Dundas and Clarenville had won all three of their gams before Saturday — and they didn’t disappoint in the final as Churchill faced 41 shots, while Mole dealt with 53. 

Churchill finished the tournament with a 1.89 goals-against average and .940 save percentage. Meanwhile Mole — who had played in the AHL and ECHL, and had once been selected by the Ottawa Senators at the end of the ‘Making the Cut’ reality hockey program — had a 1.64 GAA and .950 save percentage. The native of Moncton, N.B., was named the tournament MVP and all-star goalie.

Cam Fergus had the goals — both on the power play — for the Caribous on Saturday. He finished as the tournament’s leading scorer with four goals and five assists for nine points.

Fergus's second goal had tied the game at 2-2 midway through the third period, but despite good pressure, the Caribous couldn’t find a way to come up with the winner. 

It didn’t help that they had lost skilled forward Andrew Sweetland just after the 12-minute mark of the second period when he was given an automatic game misconduct after being whistled for a checking-from-behind minor.

Sweetland wasn’t the only Clarenville forward who didn’t finish the game. Not long before Rowe’s winning goal, the Caribous’ Chad Earle left the ice bleeding from a cut to the face after battling with Dundas defenceman Matthew Smith. Earle appeared to have taken a high stick on the play, but also had his head bang off the glass after being hit by Smith. 

No penalty was called despite protests from the Clarenville bench.

Darryl Smith had both goals for Dundas, which never trailed in the game.

 

Notes

Fergus and fellow Caribou Matt Quinn were named tournament all-star forwards, along with Ryan Christie of the Real McCoys. Luke Gallant of Clarenville and Simon Mangos of Dundas were the all-star defencemen … Fergus and Gallant (Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts) and Quinn (CBN CeeBee Stars) were among the “associated players” the Caribous were allowed to pick up from other Newfoundland Senior Hockey League teams for the Allan Cup tournament … Forward Dale Sullivan was named Clarenville’s player of the game Saturday .. Before Fergus’s two goals, one of which came on a five-on-three advantage, the Real McCoys hadn’t given up a power-play goal in 23 opposition chances in the tournament … The Caribous finished the Allan Cup with 18 goals for and eight against … According to the Hamilton Spectator, four former NHLers who played for Dundas are giving up competitive hockey now that the Allan Cup has concluded. They are team captain Christie, Nick Smith and former Montreal Canadiens first-rounder Jason Ward, who constituted the Real McCoys’ top line, along with defenceman Jay McKee, who played more than 800 games in 14 NHL seasons …

 

bmcc@thetelegram.com

 

Organizations: American Hockey League, Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators Newfoundland Senior Hockey League Montreal Canadiens NHL

Geographic location: Clarenville, Red Deer, Moncton Grand Falls

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