The Sun County Panthers are returning to the OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour for the first time since 2012, scoring a 5-2 win over the Toronto Titans to start Wild Card Play-In Day in Toronto.
Knotted at one to start the third, Braedan Caetano (1, 2) and Josh Chan (1) traded goals under three minutes apart before the Panthers pulled away with three unanswered in the final two minutes of regulation.
John Ulicny (1) netted the game winner with 1:43 left on the clock before Caetano hit an open net for his second of the game. Ryan Gagnier (1) recorded his fourth point with an empty net marker less than a minute later.
“It’s something to be proud of, that’s for sure,” said Gagnier after the win. “Just looking at the way our season has been kind of up and down it’s a nice time to come out and play some of our best hockey. We had some injuries today and we got through it together.”
Gagnier finished the morning with a goal and three assists, also setting up a second period goal by Conor Dembinski (1).
“We’re here now and we want to make a name for ourselves,” Gagnier continued. “We know it won’t be easy. These are the best teams in the province, but we’re here for a reason and we want to make the most of it.”
The Panthers were outshot 44-25 but were backstopped by strong goaltending from Nicholas Chenard who turned aside 42 shots.
Jean-Luc Foudy (1) also scored for the Titans as they’ll narrowly miss the OHL Cup after competing in each of the past two years.
Sun County advances to compete in the Nash Division alongside the Toronto Marlboros, Guelph Gryphons, Cambridge Hawks and Elite Hockey Group.
PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Sun County – Ryan Gagnier (1G, 3A, +4, 1 SOG, 15/27 FO)
Titans – Jean-Luc Foudy (1G, 7 SOG, 11/21 FO)
Sun County’s John Ulciny scores the game-winning goal in Wild Card Play-In action.
WATCH ALL GAMES OF THE 2018 OHL CUP POWERED BY UNDER ARMOUR