The Canadian Tire Cup Final kicked off at Mariners Centre on Saturday night with the Eastlink South Division champions from Yarmouth home to the Eastlink North Division champion Campbellton Tigers.
A big story heading into this series was Campbellton goaltender Tristan Gray, who had posted five shutouts in ten playoff games leading up to the championship round. The Mariners, however, would get the early goal they wanted. Andrew Martell snapped a shot five-hole on Gray at 8:28 to extend his point streak to six games and give Yarmouth a 1-0 lead. They would very nearly add another late in the period as a shot from the point by Noah McMullin hit the post to the right of Gray. The Mariners took a penalty of their own at 18:38, but held off a charge from Campbellton to maintain their 1-0 lead.
Early in the second period, a low shot from Yarmouth’s Zack Bennett was kicked out by Gray, but right onto the stick of Brent Broaders who found the wide open cage to extend The Mariners’ lead to 2-0 at 4:22. Much of the last half of the period would be spent in Yarmouth end, but Campbellton was unable to beat Caseley and the score would remain 2-0 after 40 minutes.
There was a lot of back and forth in the third period, but Logan Timmons slammed the puck into the empty net with 44 seconds left to finish off a 3-0 win for Yarmouth and a 1-0 lead in the Canadian Tire Cup. The final shot total was 38-24 in favour of Yarmouth with Tyler Caseley recording the shutout.
Game 2 goes Sunday night at 7 p.m. at Mariners Centre. The series is going by the 2-3-2 format, instead of alternating home games. Campbellton will host Games 3-5, beginning Thursday. The winner of the Canadian Tire Cup Final will advance to the Fred Page Cup in Amherst, joining the host Ramblers and the champions of both the CCHL and LHJQ.