The OMHA Champion York Simcoe Express are headed to the OHL Cup Semi-Finals, taking a Silver Stick Championship rematch over the Mississauga Rebels on an overtime winner by defenceman Carter Robertson.
The Express got the better of the Rebels once again as Robertson stepped around his man with a quick move before sending a backhander over the glove of goaltender Christian Purboo 8:34 into overtime for a 3-2 win.
“I just took a chance,” said an excited Robertson. “You usually think twice about doing things like that in overtime but I thought I could get a lane to the net and it ended up working out.”
After defeating the Rebels in the Silver Stick back in November, Robertson complimented their performance on Saturday.
“I thought they were a good team at the Silver Stick but they’ve really improved and they gave us all we could handle today,” he said. “We started off slow this week but a win against a team like that took a great game from our team and I’m really proud of the guys. We’ve still got work to do.”
It was a win that almost slipped away as the Rebels tied the score on a powerplay with 1:02 left in the third period on a goal by blueliner Peter Stratis.
Express goaltender Andrei Berezinskiy was a game-changer throughout the overtime period, keeping the game tied until Robertson netted the winner inside the final two minutes of the extra frame.
Matthew McKim and Ian Vucko provided other York Simcoe goals while Mississauga had markers from a pair of defencemen in the aforementioned Stratis as well as D.J. King.
The Mississauga Rebels, who entered the 2016 OHL Cup occupying the top spot in the weekly rankings, finish the showcase with a record of 3-2-0, being led in scoring by Thomas Maia who had nine points (3-6–9) in five games. Maia sits tied with Hunter Holmes for the OHL Cup scoring lead.
The York Simcoe Express become the first OMHA team to reach the OHL Cup Semi-Finals since 2013 when the Express and the champion Oakville Rangers made it into the final four.
PLAYER OF THE GAME:
York Simcoe – Carter Robertson (1G)
Mississauga – Riley Damiani