Miramichi defeat Navan 8-4 to advance to Centennial Cup semifinals

OAKVILLE, ON - MAY 17: at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex on May 17, 2024 in Ontario, Canada (Photo by Tim Bates / OJHL Images)

The Miramichi Timberwolves are off to the Centennial Cup semifinals with an 8-4 win over the Navan Grads on Friday night in Oakville, Ontario.

It was a quick start for the CCHL champions, who took the lead just 35 seconds into the game as Shaan Kingwell beat Miramichi goaltender Adam Rouleau. Miramichi struck back quickly, however, as a Ludovic Dufort pass found Elliot Robert who wired a shot from the slot that beat Jaeden Nelson to tie things 1-1 just 4:05 into the period. Hugo Audette also had an assist on the goal. Miramichi would take the lead at 9:23 on a goal from Jeremy Duhamel (assist to Mitchell Wagner) and build a 3-1 lead as Dufort took advantage of a line change by Navan to score on a breakaway at 11:29. Shots in the 1st were 20-12 for the Grads, but the MHL champions had the lead.

There was even more scoring in the 2nd period and swings of momentum. Hugo Audette scored at 3:10 (assists to Robert and Dufort) and 4:30 (assist to Robert) for a commanding 5-1 lead. Navan started to turn things around midway through the period. Matthew Roy scored at 9:23, Colin Holmes scored at 13:20, and then Colin MacDougall beat Rouleau at 18:39 to bring it back to a 5-4 Miramichi lead. The Timberwolves would go on a late powerplay and take just fourteen seconds to convert. Zachary Aprea-Ricard took a pass from Audette and beat Nelson short-side to get Miramichi back up 6-4 after 40 minutes. David Doucet also had an assist on the powerplay goal. The Timberwolves outshot Navan 22-8 in the period.

Miramichi would again go up by three goals as Cole Foston finished off the pass from Wagner at 3:48 of the 3rd period. Navan had a big opportunity late in the period as Miramichi took a pair of penalties to give the Grads 63 seconds of 5-on-3 time, but Miramichi killed off both penalties. The Grads pulled their goaltender before the penalties ended with just over three minutes left, but Robert found the empty net at 18:00 (assist to Justin David) to seal an 8-4 victory for Miramichi.

Shots for the game were 42-40 overall in favour of the Timberwolves. Audette was named the player of the game for Miramichi.

Miramichi will have to wait to find out if they will face the Collingwood Blues in the semis, who finished atop Group A, or if it’s a rematch with the Melfort Mustangs who beat Miramichi to start the tournament. Both Collingwood and Melfort were undefeated in the round-robin stage.