The final four became two after Friday’s men’s hockey semifinal action at the CN Centre.
Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and Manitoba were all looking to book their ticket into Sunday’s gold medal game.
Ontario 5-Quebec 2
It was a fast start between Ontario and Quebec but it was scoreless through the first 10 minutes. Quebec opened the scoring on a goal from Joseph Veleno when his snapshot from the top of the circle beat Michael DiPietro (the first goal he’d given up in the tournament) and it was 1-0. Quebec added another two minutes later when Joel Teasdale centered a pass for Antoine Morand making it 2-0 after the first with shots favoring Quebec 14-8.
Ontario came out firing on all cylinders to open the second and cut the deficit in half just 2:58 into the period when Gabe Vilardi’s shot beat Alex D’Orio. Vilardi added his second four minutes later and it was all tied up 2-2.
The period ended tied at 2 after Ontario outshot Quebec 16-10, shots were tied 24-24 overall.
Ontario’s first lead of the game came at the 7:41 mark of the third. Simon Boyko’s wraparound attempt was turned aside by Alex D’Orio, but Ben Jones jumped on the loose puck, spun around and fired into the back of the net for a 3-2 Ontario lead. The teams were playing four-on-four for 57 seconds just over two minutes later when Ryan McLeod jumped on a rebound and flipped it home making it a 4-2 Ontario lead. Ontario then scored their fifth thstraight goal on Brent Neumann’s tally at the 13-minute mark and they are off to the final for the sixth time in the Games.
Alberta 3-Manitoba 1
An early powerplay led to Alberta’s opening goal at the 4:53 mark. Kyle Olson fed a centering pass to Kobe Mohr who was on the Manitoba doorstep and he beat Dylan Myskiw. Not quite three minutes later, Team Manitoba tied things up as Cayden Kraus with a great individual effort skated into the offensive zone and flipped a backhander on goal that beat Ian Scott. The first ended in a 1-1 tie with Manitoba holding a 12-9 edge in shots.
There was no scoring in the second until the latter stages with Alberta on the powerplay. Jaret Anderson-Dolan was stopped driving to the net, but Ethan McIndoe followed up and jammed the puck in off netminder Dylan Myskiw for a 2-1 Alberta lead after two periods.
Manitoba took another penalty at the seven-minute marking sending Alberta to their fifth powerplay in the game and for the third time they would convert. Josh Paterson scored his third goal of the games making it a 3-1 Alberta lead. Manitoba was unable to get any closer as Alberta advanced to Sunday’s gold medal game with the victory.
The Ontario/Alberta gold medal match-up gets underway at 11:30 a.m. Sunday at CN Centre.