2002 Royal Bank Cup Semi Finals

By Mike Simon

2002 Royal Bank Cup Semi Finals
May 11th 2002 – Halifax, Nova Scotia

Game #1 – Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL) VS. OCN Blizzard (MJHL)

The 1st period set the tempo for the game by the Blizzards
storming down on Chilliwack. Tambellini and Gauthier kept
trying to get something going for the Chill but the
Blizzards defense did a great job at shutting them down
and taking them out of scoring position. The Blizzards
kept pouring the pressure on the Chill, then at 3:33 into
the first Tambellini took a very costly penalty, because on
that power play the OCN Blizzards scored the first goal by
a nice goal from David Splawinski. Then at 10:05 with the
Blizzards on another power play, the scored, Kirk Zeifflie
just put the puck on net at Tyson Motz who misplayed the puck. The Chiefs started to gain momentum late in the
first, on the power play, the Chiefs got a big
goal from Micah Sanford who just stayed with the puck and
kept working hard in front banging away at it till it went
in. That goal seemed to spark some offense from the Chill
for the rest of the period, but Marc-Andre Leclerc and the
defense shut down what Chilliwack had in mind.

2nd period, only 1:11 seconds into the period Sanford again
helped the Chill tie things up by just spinning in close to
the net and beating Leclerc down low, this not only tied
the game but the Chilliwack team started to take control of the play, they were making hits getting chances but thanks
to Leclerc making a few big saves the Blizzards hung in
there. The line of Sanford, and Betts was on fire all
night in this game for the Chill because at the 9 min mark
in the 2nd Kaleb Betts scored a
goal on Leclerc to put the Chill ahead by one. But with
only 7 seconds left in the period Russell Spence of the OCN
Blizzards had enough of the scoring rain from Chilliwack
and he answered with a huge goal to tie things up heading
to the 3rd.

3rd period of the game started to get choppy with some
cheap shots and big hits, Tamballini started to turn things
up on the power play by taking a few real nice shots from
the point, only to be stopped by the play of Leclerc, but
about half ways through the 3rd Justin Seaborg of the OCN
Blizzards made a great play by picking the puck up at
center, he then deeked out the two Chilliwack defenders and
scored a beauty goal low on the goalie Motz to put OCN up
by one with only over 6 min left to play. With a minute
left in the 3rd Chilliwack turned it up with their goalie
pulled but they could not beat the Blizzards defense or
Leclerc who had 44 saves in the game.

Final Score – OCN 4, Chilliwack 3

Shots on Goal –

Chilliwack – 47
OCN – 41

Players of the Game –

Chilliwack – Micah Sanford
OCN – David Splawinski

Game #2 – Halifax Oland Exports (MarJHL) VS Ottawa Jr. Senators (CJHL)

The opening period of this game set the tone that this was
going to become a high scoring game. Ottawa opened the
scoring at 2:26 on the power play with a goal from Francis
Walker. At the 5:55 mark Halifax netted their first goal
from Adam Solnik and the romp was on scoring 3 more goals
in the next 6 minutes chasing Ottawa goalie Luc Bergeron from goal. Ottawa and Halifax exchanged goals to end the first period of play.

The second period of the game was more set back and teams
played smart game playing strong defense and keeping the
play balanced between the two teams. Ottawa scored a goal
early in the 3rd, and Halifax answered back late in the
tried with a goal of there own to make the score 6-3 for
Halifax after 2 periods on play.

Ottawa came out strong in the 3rd period to make this game
interesting to the end. Two goals early in the third by
Greg LeBlanc and Cody Glasper brought Ottawa within 1 of
Halifax. Halifax regained there 2 goal lead with a goal by
Mike Fougere at the 13:07 mark. Ottawa soon replied at the
14:30 mark with a goal by Halifax native Colin Nicholson.
Then things really started to heat up at 17:56 Ottawa got
the goal they been working hard for from Alex Goupil to tie
the game up at 7-7 to make the final minutes of this game
exciting. The teams fought hard with both Goalies making
some great saves to keep their team in the game until the
19:04 mark Tyler Durman banged the puck past Ottawa goalie
Mathieu Blanchard to give Halifax the 8-7 lead. In the
final seconds with the Ottawa goalie on the bench, Halifax
goalie Scott Gouthro made some strong saves keeping his
team in the game and seconds away from the Championship
game. At 19:48 Matt Quinn put the game away with a empty
net goal to give Halifax the 9-7 lead and to take them to
the Championship game against the OCN Blizzard on Sunday,
May 12th.

Final Score – Halifax 9, Ottawa 7

Shots on Goal –

Halifax – 32
Ottawa – 41

Players of the Game –

Ottawa – Murray Magill
Halifax – Francis Cloutier


2002 RBC Award Winners –

Top Scorer – Jeff Tambellini (Chilliwack)
Top Goaltender – Scott Gouthro (Halifax)
Top Forward – Matt Quinn (Halifax)
Top Defenseman – Jeff Barlow (Chilliwack)
Most Sportsmanlike – Jason Snow (Halifax)
Most Valuable Player – Jeff Tambellini (Chilliwack)

The Championship game report will be posted soon.

(Pictured Right – Jeff Tambellini, Photo by: Mike Simon)

Report by: Steve Gionet & Mike Simon