Team Orr made a stunning comeback Wednesday edging Team Cherry, 5-4, in the CHL/ NHL Top Prospects Game at the Centrium.
While Team Cherry dominated much of the game, Team Orr found the back of the net four times in the final period.
Three of those goals came in a little under two minutes.
Edmonton Oil Kings Forward Josh Williams, who played for Team Orr, said the team showed ‘character’ during the come-from-behind win.
“I think that’s what we need to see in players, you know, being able to come back and not doubt ourselves. We had all the faith in our team and came back and won the game,” he told a large group of reporters after the game.
Williams said he was nervous and excited to play in the Prospect Game, which featured 40 top young players from across the WHL, the Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
“You’re nervous, of course, because there are lots of scouts in the stands but the excitement takes over once you step on the ice.”
But the skill of the players on both sides was evident from the beginning.
Team Cherry started the scoring with only 56 seconds in the first when Hamilton Bulldogs Forward Arthur Kaliyev found the back of the net with Nick Robertson of the Peterborough Petes assisting.
Sherbrooke Phoenix’s Samuel Poulin got on the board at 11:56.
Kootenay ICE Forward Peyton Krebs scored the third goal for Team Cherry at the end of the second period with assists from Robertson and Kaliyev. He also earned the Jim Gregory Player of the Game recognition.
“I had a couple of good linemates there who could put the puck in the net and I was fortunate for sure. Pucks went our way and had some good chances and it went well,” he said.
“Either way, good or bad, scouts aren’t going to change their minds, so you just try to work your hardest and have fun and hope it goes the best,” he said.
Team Cherry was up 4-1 at the beginning of the third when Team Orr’s Jakob Pelletier scored at 4:42.
Edmonton Oil Kings Defenceman Matthew Robertson, who played for Team Cherry, said his team fell apart in the third period.
“Our team started pretty hot with a couple quick goals but we fell apart in the third and got some good bounces and ended up losing,” he said.
But overall, the Prospects Game was a great experience for the 17-year-old players, who have not yet been drafted to the NHL.
“It was a great experience and lots of fun. You try to soak it all in. Tons of great talent from all over the three leagues. It was a fast game, with lots of skill. You just had to adapt,” Robertson said.