Ashton Tait scores twice at WHL Cup in Red Deer

Team Saskatchewan’s Ashton Tait (left) and Dawson Gerwing (right) search for a loose puck against Team Alberta goaltender Christian Francis during their second game at the WHL Cup. Tait scored twice in the contest, but Team Sask. fell 5-4 in overtime.

Team Saskatchewan started their WHL Cup action in Red Deer with a tough 8-1 loss against Team B.C on Wednesday. On Thursday, things were looking good for the best U16 players in the province, as they came out of the gates roaring against Team Alberta.

One of those best players on Team Sask is 15 year old phenom Ashton Tait, who currently plays for the Prince Albert Mintos in the SMAAAHL U18 league. He is enjoying a 6 point season through 7 games so far with the Mintos, leading in rookie scoring.

While he was held off the scoresheet in their loss to Team B.C, he bounced back nicely against Team Alberta scoring a pair of goals in part of a 5-4 overtime loss, a game that saw them hold a 4-0 lead early in the second period.

Saskatchewan scored twice in the first ten minutes of the game, courtesy of Dawson Gerwing from the Battlefords Stars and Cole Pearson, who picked up his second goal of the tournament. Tait added another one in the dying seconds of the first, before scoring again early in the second period to jump out to a quick four goal advantage.

Alberta would find their first goal of the game just a couple minutes after giving up the fourth goal, as Brock Souch tallied a powerplay goal to make it 4-1. Before the second period ended, Alberta struck again, as Gavin Garland put one on the board to cut the deficit to 4-2.

Alberta would add a powerplay goal in the third period after Saskatchewan took a double minor penalty, making it a one goal game. Later, Zane Saab scored his third goal of the tournament in his second game. He scored a shorthanded beauty, eventually sending the game to three on three overtime.

It did not take long in the extra session, as Marek Howell of the Calgary U18 Royals capped off the comeback for Team Alberta.

Saskatchewan drops to 0-1-1 in the tournament, and will take on Team Manitoba in their final round robin game of the tournament on Friday. Meanwhile, Team Alberta improves to 2-0, and will face Team B.C, who also remains undefeated, on Friday as well.