Blue Knights Claim 28th Annual Canal Cup
By: Dan Crowley
For the fourth consecutive season the Blue Knights hold hockey’s Canal Cup. Saturday night Sandwich posted a 6-0 victory over neighboring Bourne in the 28th annual game at Gallo Ice Arena.
Craig Brubaker led the scoring attack for Sandwich with two goals. Sandwich posted two in each of the three periods of play.
Brubaker went after Bourne goalie Josh Eddy early, testing the freshman playing in his first Canal Cup just eight seconds into the game. Eddy brushed aside Brubaker’s shot. Bourne’s Will Humfryes then raced the length of the ice and fired off a shot at SHS goalie Pat Farrington as both teams came off the opening face-off fired up and skating hard.
Eddy stopped another Sandwich bid and then shut down a Blue Knight power play as the game’s intensity grew. Brubaker got his stick on the puck in front of the Bourne net, with 3:55 remaining in the opening period, and slammed it past Eddy to put the Knights up 1-0.
Just 54 seconds later Jake McCombs scored on a Sandwich power play assisted by his brother Luke McCombs to give the Knights a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period.
“Their goalie had a few stops early,” Coach Jordan Mohre said. “But we stayed with it, and the puck finally went in. Things started to go our way.”
After controlling the action and outshooting the Canalmen 12-2 in the opening period, the Knights quickly killed off a penalty before getting back to work. Sam Kent gathered up the puck at the top of the slot midway through the second stanza and blew a hard shot past Eddy with Todd Solari getting the assist.
Sandwich killed off another penalty down the stretch and then with 1:03 left in the period Jim Fluke skated behind the net from right to left and tucked the puck in-between the pipe and Eddy’s stick for the fourth SHS goal.
Bourne fought back in the third firing two quick shots at Blue Knight goalie Pat Farrington to end a power play that lapped over from the second period. The Canalmen replaced Eddy in the final period with senior goalie Kevin Marsh. But just 2:12 into the third period the Knights took the wind out of Bourne’s sails with their fifth goal of the game as Luke McCombs took a pass from Steve Lessard on the left side and tucked a shot inside the far post. Forty-one seconds later the Knights put the finishing touches on Bourne when Brubaker hit his second of the night.
Humfryes and Justin Desharnais ramped up the pressure down the stretch for the Canalmen, but couldn’t crack Sandwich’s defense.
Farrington was selected at the 28th Canal Cup MVP from Sandwich, with Desharnais named the Bourne MVP of the game.
“We’re healthy and playing well,” Coach Mohre said. “We can’t afford to lose; every game is like a playoff for us. We understand our situation and accept it as a challenge.”
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