KITCHENER – Ethan Keppen scored the game winner midway through the first period and assisted on an insurance goal late in the third, to lead Team GTHL Blue past Team NOHA 6-1, in the first consolation semifinal at the 2017 OHL Gold Cup.
The first two goals from GTHL Blue developed much the same way, coming off offensive zone pressure and quick passing to open up lanes. Phil Tomasino, Nicolas Porco, and Daniel D’Amico combined on the first goal of the game 3:22 into the opening frame, with D’Amico’s first of the OHL Gold Cup.
Just over four minutes later, Robert Calisti, Tomasino, and Keppen worked the puck tic-tac-toe around the NOHA zone to put GTHL Blue ahead 2-0.
Tomasino would finish off the period with his third point of the game and fourth goal of the tournament, picking up a bouncing puck in the neutral zone and heading in on NOHA goaltender Jake McGuire on a short two-on-one. Tomasino decided to hold onto the puck and beat McGuide to send GTHL Blue to the dressing room with a 3-0 lead.
There was no scoring in the second, though Landon Thomson had a chance to get NOHA on the board after calling for, and getting, a breakaway pass. But GTHL Blue goaltender Matt Keeley got a glove on it, maintaining the 3-0 lead.
Tomasino scored his second of the game 6:46 into the third period, before Tristian Cicchello made it 4-1, picking up a deflected shot to beat Keeley low. Team GTHL would add another two goals before the end of the third, including another from Tomasino for his second hat trick of the OHL Gold Cup, for a 6-1 win.
Both Team NOHA and GTHL Blue will wait to find out which teams they will face on Sunday, with puck drop for both games set for 8:00 a.m. at the Activa Sportsplex in Kitchener.
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Follow along with Team NOHA on Twitter @NOHAHockey