In one of the biggest and most exciting events of the season, Team West finished the CJHL Prospects Game with a 3-2 victory over Team East in front of over 1232 fans.
Team East got the first goal of the contest on the odd man rush. 5:39 into the contest, Hamilton Red Wings forward Laine McKay picked up the puck from Keegan Mulhearn in the slot, securing the 1-0 lead early.
Two quick goals right after the halfway point of the first gave Team West the advantage. First, a weak shot from Jarod Hilderman from just inside the red line somehow beat Adrian Clark, tying the game up at one apiece. It was an unfortunate goal for Clark to allow, as the former Team Canada East goaltender had looked good up until that point.
A minute later, a defensive breakdown allowed West to grab their first lead of the game. After Callum Fryer was slow to stop Jordan Kawaguchi, who skated right in front of Clark. Kawaguchi appeared to have fanned on the shot, but it still managed to find its way through Clark’s five hole to make it 2-1 West.
With nine minutes to go in the second, East had their first chance to tie it up. Both teams made a goalie switch with 10:20 still to go, and on the first show Stefan Wornig faced, birthday boy Jacob Hayhurst had a really good spot in front of the net to fire it home, and with all the time in the world he did just that.
The third was very one-sided shot wise, but neither team was able to score. It almost seemed impossible for the East to get it out of the zone and send a shot towards Worning. Luckily for the Eastern based team, Justin Kapelmaster made some incredible stops to keep the game. His best save of the game came with two minutes remaining in the game when he completely robbed Okotoks Oilers star Rhett Gardner on a point-blank one-timer scoring opportunity.
East’s scoring chances were on the low side in the third period, but two extremely close chances by Fryer and Hayhurst late in the game gave the East team some hope. However, their weak third period effort would come back to haunt them, as Hilderman skated in from the blue line and fired the puck in close that just flickered over the left pad of Kapelmaster to give the West team the lead. The late marker proved to seal the deal, as, with 7.3 seconds left in the contest there was no chance of East catching back up.