The Mississauga Reps and Toronto Nationals are headed to this year’s OHL Cup final after earning their berth the hard way.
The Reps to work their butts off and face top notch opponents to earn their spots in the final as wild card entries with impressive quarterfinal and semifinal wins against the top ranked teams in the province.
In quarterfinal action, Mississauga knocked off the Toronto Jr. Canadiens 5-1 to earn a berth in the semifinals against the No. 1 ranked and ALLIANCE Champions, London Jr. Knights.
The Knights came into the game undefeated at the OHL Cup with a 5-0 record but that came to an end as the Reps went on to a 3-1 victory to earn a spot in their first OHL Cup Championship Final.
In the other quarterfinals, the Toronto Nationals edged the OMHA champs, the Whitby Wildcats, 2-1.
With the victory, the Young Nats' reward was a shot at the Vaughn Kings who came into the OHL Cup ranked No. 5 and playing in their first semifinal in the club’s history.
The Nationals came up with another strong defensive performance en route to a 2-1 win and their first OHL Cup final appearance since 2003.
To begin the OHL Cup, the Reps and Nationals weren’t even assured of a berth in the tournament. Both teams had to compete in and win a Wild Card Play-In game to qualify for the round robin.
Mississauga took the first step with a 5-2 victory over the Halton Hurricanes. The Nationals had little trouble disposing of the Kitchener Rangers 7-1.
Once they gained entry into the round robin portion of the tournament, the Reps proceeded to finish in first place in the Shanahan Division with a 3-0-0-1 record and seven points.
The Nationals were aligned in the Nash Division where they finished in second place (3-1-0-0, six pts) behind the Mississauga Rebels (4-0-0-0, eight pts).
After playing two emotional games on Saturday, the two teams will have a day off to rest and prepare for Monday night’s OHL Cup final.
The final will be played at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in downtown Toronto.
Game time is scheduled for 6:30pm.
The championship final will be broadcast live on Sportsnet Ontario.
Tournament Notes: The 2010 Mississauga Rebels are the only wild card team to capture an OHL Cup championship.
Mississauga Reps F Mike Petizian has 4-7-11 points to lead the lead the OHL Cup in scoring after six games. He is followed closely by teammate Jamieson Rees with 5-4-9 points. Rees notched two goals and was named Player of the Game in the Reps’ 3-1 victory over London in their semifinal match-up.
For the first time in 11 years, the Toronto Marlboros will not be appearing in the OHL Cup final. Their impressive run began in 2007 and lasted until last year. During that time, the Marlboros collected four OHL Cup titles.
In last year’s final, Toronto was defeated by the York-Simcoe Express 2-1 in double overtime.
Their last OHL Cup championship was in 2015 when they beat the Don Mills Flyers 3-2 in double OT.
In 2003, the Toronto Young Nats defeated the Sun County Panthers. It was the first year the OHL Cup featured Minor Midget AAA Teams.
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