The Don Mills Flyers may have been down, but they were far from out.
Brennan Othmann scored with 1:30 remaining in overtime as the top ranked minor midget ‘AAA’ club rallied from a 4-1 deficit to defeat the Toronto Red Wings, 6-5, to capture their first OHL Cup championship, Mar. 18, at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto.
Flyers defenceman Brandt Clarke started the winning play from his own end when he flipped the puck though centre ice and it was picked up by teammate Shane Wright, who walked in with Othmann on a two-on-one. Wright slid it across to Othmann and the winger ripped a shot over the glove of Red Wings goaltender Josh Rosenzweig for the overtime winner.
“It’s amazing. I can’t take credit for it,” Othmann, who finished with two goals and an assist, told ontariohockeyleague.com. “I have great teammates and Shane made a beautiful pass. I just saw the opening and I buried. it.”
Wright, who finished the night with a goal and two assists, had some extra hardware to haul home as the underage forward was awarded the Tim Adams Memorial Trophy, given to the Most Valuable Player of the OHL Cup.
The 15-year-old, who was recently granted exceptional status for the 2019 OHL Priority Selection and is expected to go first overall to the Kingston Frontenacs in the April 6 draft, led the tournament with eight goals and 10 assists for 18 points, just one shy of the record set by Connor McDavid in the 2012 showcase.
The six-foot-one centreman, who helped the Flyers tie a tournament record with 41 goals scored, is the first Don Mills player to earn the award.
“It’s incredible just to have this moment and to take in what just happened, coming back from down 4-1 to win in overtime,” Wright said. “It’s a brotherhood in that dressing room. We all came together, stayed calm and focused on what we had to do.”
It was an emotional win for the Flyers, who were thinking of former teammate Roy Pejcinovski. The goalie passed away tragically just over a year ago.
“We feel like he was here tonight supporting us,” said Flyers head coach Marc Slawson, whose club lost just once all season. “We feel like he’s been with us all season and had our back.”
Edward Moskowitz, Liam Arnsby and Alex Christopoulos also scored for the Flyers, who tied the game up at 4-4 and then again at 5-5 after Adam Fantilli put the Red Wings back on top early in the third period.
Sergei Litvinov, who came in for starting goalie Anson Thornton at 13:16 of the first period, picked up the win for the Flyers after giving up two goals on 17 shots. Thornton stopped seven of the 10 shots he faced.
Francesco Pinelli and Chandler Romeo led the Toronto attack with a goal and two assists each. Owen Simpson and Justin Ertel also found the net for the Red Wings, while Ryan Gillespie added three assists.
Rosenzweig finished with 24 saves on 30 shots.
photo: The Don Mills Flyers defeated the Toronto Red Wings, 6-5, in overtime to capture the OHL Cup championship, Mar. 18, at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto. OHL photo.