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Greater Sudbury Cubs down two games at Centennial Cup

Team falls 5-1 to Navan on Sunday
The Greater Sudbury Cubs are down two games at the Centennial Cup after falling 5-1 to the Navan Grads on May 12.

The Greater Sudbury Cubs continue to hunt for a win in Centennial Cup play in Oakville.

On Sunday, the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League champions fell 5-1 to the Navan Grads at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex as the 10-day tournament to determine Canada’s best Junior A team continues.

On Day 4 of the tournament, Navan scored first and held Greater Sudbury to just one goal. Despite the Cubs’ efforts to create scoring chances, they just couldn’t find the back of the net.

Navan opened the scoring at 3:15 of the first, after Grads’ forward Colin MacDougall powered his way out from the end boards and pushed along the goal line, beating Greater Sudbury goaltender Noah Metivier as he crossed the crease.

The Cubs kept the pressure on and created scoring chances for both Marshall McCharles and Chris Innes, but were stymied by Grads’ netminder Jaeden Nelson.

Some sustained pressure by the Cubs midway through the first period, presented a couple of opportunities to tie it, but solid in-close stops by Grads’ starter Jaeden Nelson stymied Marshall McCharles and Chris Innes.

Later, Hudson Chitaroni fired a laser at Nelson that banged off the cross bar.

Cubs’ forward Samuel Assinewai had an early scoring chance in the second, but couldn’t capitalize.

Navan didn’t have that issue though. At 3:08 of the second, Gabriel Crete wheeled around the net and sent a pass to his younger brother, Maximus Crete, in front of the net, who steered it in.

Assinewai created a scoring chance later in the frame, and this time the Cubs would earn the marker. The forward collected a turnover in the Grads’ zone, and with a quick spin sent the puck to McCharles zooming down the slot, who ripped it into the top left-hand corner at 11:37 to cut Navan’s lead to 2-1.

Before the end of the second, the Grads earned another tally that was then disallowed after the officials determined the play should have been halted on an icing call.

Moving into the third with the Cubs down 2-1, Greater Sudbury had the man advantage twice early on, but just couldn’t tie it up.

Heading to the third, a couple of man advantage chances could not be capitalized early on as the Cubs looked for an equalizer.

Then on a power play of their own, Navan made it 3-1 after defenceman Matthew Roy snapped an attempt from the top of the right circle that sailed through a maze and eluded a screened Metivier.

“Getting their goalie out with three and a half minutes remaining, and on a man advantage, Greater Sudbury looked to pull closer, however the Grads’ Nicholas Paone secured the result with a long-range empty netter from deep in his own territory,” the game report states.

With the Grads up 4-1, Navan picked up another empty-netter in the final minutes off the stick of Devon Savignac after Sudbury pulled their goalie, making it a 5-1 Navan game.

McCharles earned player of the game nods for Sudbury, while Nelson picked up the honour for Navan.

Now down two games at the Centennial Cup, the Cubs are back in action this afternoon at 4 p.m. against the Alberta Junior Hockey League champions, the Calgary Canucks.

In the Cubs’ Centennial Cup opener on May 10, the team took a hard loss, falling 10-2 to the Collingwood Blues of the Ontario Junior Hockey League.


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