DAUPHIN, Man. — The Brockville Braves opened their quest for the RBC Cup with an offensive outburst rarely seen at the Canadian Junior A championship tournament.
Zak Zaremba and Scott Arnold each had a hat trick and two assists and David Roy added two goals and three assists as the Braves hammered the Oakville Blades 11-2 in an all-Ontario matchup Sunday. The game marked the first time in 14 years a team had reached double digits in goals at an RBC Cup game and tied the record for most goals, which had been reached five times previously.
Melfort, Sask., was the last team to reach the 10-goal plateau with an 11-3 win over Newmarket, Ont., in 1996.
Later Sunday, the defending champion Vernon Vipers downed the La Ronge Ice Wolves 4-2.
The Blades (0-2) pulled to within a goal at 3-2 early in the second period before the floodgates opened. Brockville (1-0) scored the game’s final eight goals, taking a 7-2 lead after 40 minutes before adding four more in the third.
Oakville struck first when Dustin Alcock converted a cross-crease feed from Kellan Lain 5:23 into the first period, but goals from Zaremba, Arnold and Shayne Thompson pushed the Braves into a 3-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
A goaltending change after one period seemed to spark Oakville when Mark McGowan cut the lead to 3-2, but Brockville’s special teams took over, scoring twice on the power play and once short-handed before the end of the second period.
Roy’s second of the game made it 10-2 before Zaremba completed his hat trick in the dying seconds to equal the record previously set by Orillia, Ont., (1985), New Westminster, B.C., (1990), Vernon, (1990), Olds, Alta., (1994) and Melfort (1996).
Alex Boak and Mike Skakum had the other goals for Brockville, which outshot Oakville 44-29.
The Blades have the day off Monday before facing Vernon on Tuesday in a must-win game, while the Braves take on the host Dauphin Kings in Monday’s lone game.
In Sunday’s late game, David Robinson scored two second-period goals in the span of three minutes 15 seconds to help the Vipers come back from a disappointing opening-day defeat and beat the Ice Wolves.
The Pacific Region champions also had goals form Jonathan Milhouse and Adam Thompson.
The Vipers (1-1) were coming off a 6-5 overtime loss to the Kings on Saturday.
Doug Lindensmith scored twice for the Saskatchewan-based Ice Wolves (1-1).
The Vipers are the only team to win back-to-back national junior A titles, a feat they accomplished in 1990 and 1991.
Milhouse opened the scoring for the Vipers at 3:56 of the first period.
The Ice Wolves responded quickly, with Lindensmith tying the game just 28 seconds later.
Robinson’s pair gave the Vipers a two-goal lead heading into the third, and unlike Saturday’s loss the defending champions would not crumble.
Thompson put the game away with a goal at 7:48 of the third.
Lindensmith scored with less than two minutes remaining to cut Vernon’s lead to 4-2, but it was too late to spark a serious comeback attempt.
La Ronge is off until Tuesday, when the Ice Wolves face the Kings.