OHL Cup: Slow Start Sparks a Weiss Debut

It’s day five of the 2016 OHL Cup hockey showcase tournament today and the Toronto Red Wings (ranked second place in the Subban Division) played the Don Mills Flyers (ranked first place in the Shanahan Division) at 10am this morning. Here’s what happened…

No Forecheck in Foreplay for Hockey

It would appear that the Don Mills Flyers needed 10 minutes of playing the game already to finally warm up and get in the mood. Shift after shift, the puck was dumped into the Red Wing’s end with a quick shot off the wrist or a slap off the stick. Rather than controlling the puck and walking it in the oppositions end zone, it looked like they were killing penalties until they eventually got a penalty. That’s when everyone got all defensive and the Red Wings scored on a power play.

The Flyers may have shown weakness early on as a team, but their defensive corps showed strength as a force to be reckoned with, which was seen in amount of shots they got on net. Particularly defenseman Declan Chisholm, who was on fire the moment he touched the ice. That was probably the most consistent thing they brought to the game… that and maybe a bit of a lacrosse mentality. The puck was often seen flying through the air, followed by a swift grab of someone with gloves on.

With three minutes and 17 seconds to go in the second period, forward Tyler Weiss of the Flyers got a breakaway thanks to his fast feet. With a few quick puck-handling moves upon nearing the goalie, he raised the puck and scored a top shelf goal.

By this point in the game, it was clear that Weiss is an extraordinary player. That’s how long it took to truly notice his excellence, though. Time and time again he continued to carry the puck from one end of the rink to the other with ease and that’s when I realized he wasn’t going to stop.

When the third period came around, the score had become 3-2 for the Red Wings and the pressure was on for everyone, including Weiss. The Flyers, who received a four-minute penalty halfway through this period managed to keep the Red Wings at bay from yet another power play goal and with one minute and 34 seconds to go, they tied it up 3-3, allowing them entry into the fourth period.

The Unofficial Short-Handed Goal

During the tail end of the fifth and final period, defenseman Jack Babbage of the Flyers got injured in his own end, going down face flat to the ice. The referee looked over, saw him laying there, then turned back and let the game go on. No whistles were blown and no help was offered. I guess the show must go on right? This was the perfect time for Weiss to make his OHL Cup debut and within moments of his line mate’s downfall, he grabbed ahold of the puck, rushed into the Red Wing’s zone in a three-on-four disadvantage and scored the winning goal. Call it being fast on your feet or being phenomenal under pressure, Weiss played a significant role in winning today’s game. Just like yesterday’s game between the Elite Hockey Group and the Barrie Jr. Colts, the tie-breaking scorer Dennis Busby received the game MVP and today, Weiss too, was awarded this game’s MVP as well.