Notre Dame Hounds crowned West Regional champions

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Hockey Northwestern Ontario branch representative Jason Perrier presents the West Regional championship trophy and banner to the captains of the Notre Dame Hounds.

Photo credits: Dennis Cook

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – The Notre Dame Hounds picked up a pair of goals from Luke Mylymok while Cordel Larson tallied once and doled out two assists to help lead their side to a 5-2 victory over Winnipeg Wild in the championship game Sunday of the TELUS Cup West Regional, presented by Windsor Plywood, held at Fort William First Nation Arena in Thunder Bay.

With the win, the Hounds will now move on to represent the West Region at the 2018 TELUS Cup Canadian National Midget Championship, April 23-29, in Sudbury, Ont.

Picking up the afternoon’s initial power play, the Hounds were quick to strike as regional most valuable player Mylymok banged one in past Winnipeg starter Miles Minor.

Notre Dame then went up by a pair as Mylymok notched his second of the stanza at 15:02.

Regrouping, the Wild countered with two tallies of their own before the session was complete.

Zach Falck fired one from the right side that eluded Riley Kohonick in the Notre Dame net at 16:38.

Two shifts later, Winnipeg drew level as Kyle Bettens wired one from the slot to knot the affair at 2-2.

Moving on to the second stanza, Notre Dame regained the lead at 7:41 as Nolan Renwick one-timed a Larson feed that flew past Minor to give the Hounds the edge heading into the third.

A fast-paced final frame saw both sides earn quality chances to add to the scoring.

A late man advantage offered the Wild one more chance to try and knot the affair and force overtime.

However, with their goalkeeper pulled to give them two extra skaters, a bouncing puck off a face-off skipped over the stick of the Winnipeg defender and allowed Larson to sail down the right side before sliding an insurance marker into an empty net.

Brad Morrissey added one more empty netter in the final seconds to round out the scoring and give the Hounds their record seventh West Regional title.

Defenceman Quinn Schmiemann dished out two assists to aid the Notre Dame cause.

Shots on goal favoured the Saskatchewan side 41-17 with Kohonick picking up the victory while Minor suffered the season-ending setback.

WEST REGIONAL NOTES: In the past 24 years the West Regional winner has gone on to win the Canadian championship 14 times, which is the most of any region across the country, by a wide margin. … Saskatchewan AAA Midget Hockey League sides have now won the last seven West Regional titles and nine of the previous 10. … In the past 35 years of West Regional competition teams from Saskatchewan have claimed the crown a total of 26 times. … The Thunder Bay Kings of Hockey Northwestern Ontario have garnered the laurels on four occasions and went on to win two national championships and a pair of silver-medal finishes. … The Winnipeg Thrashers claimed the regional twice while the Thunder Bay Comets, Brandon Wheat Kings and Winnipeg Hawks all did it once. … The Kings, Thunder Bay Minor Hockey Association, Hockey Northwestern Ontario and the City of Thunder Bay will be hosting the 2019 TELUS Cup Canadian National Midget Championship, April 22-28, at the Fort William Gardens.