Erie Otters star Connor McDavid poses with Brett McKenzie (R) and Kyle Capobianco (L) of the victorious Oakville Rangers at the 2013 OHL Cup.

Oakville Rangers win first OHL Cup in team history

Craievich named Player of the Game as well as Tournament MVP

TORONTO — Forwards Adam Craievich and Sean Kohler each had two goals to lead the Oakville Rangers to a 5-1 victory over the Toronto Marlboros to win the 2013 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament on Sunday afternoon.

For his efforts, Craievich was named Player of the Game for the Rangers. He was also named Tournament MVP, registering five goals and seven points in seven games.

Forward Mitchell Stephens had the lone goal for the Marlboros and was named Toronto’s Player of the Game.

Craievich gave a lot of the credit for his team’s win to goalie Adrian Clark.

“Yeah, he’s been solid for us all weekend,” says Craievich. “He’s been big in that net, square to the shooter, and he’s really given us more trust back there. If we let a 2-on-1 happen, he’d go and make the stop for us.”

Clark, perhaps not too surprisingly, credited his defence for making him look good.

“They just take away all the time and space from the [Marlboros’] offence and keep the shots from the outside,” he said. “[The win was] huge. Especially for Bruce [Robinson, manager of the Rangers], losing it last year. All the boys just came together and we got the win.”

A sellout crowd was on hand at the Herb Carnegie Arena in North York to witness Oakville’s first-ever OHL Cup title.

The Marlboros made it to the 2012 OHL Cup final as well, but were defeated 2-1 in overtime by the Mississauga Rebels.

Duncan Harvey, the Rangers’ coach, sounded relieved as well as proud of his team’s landmark victory.

“It’s pretty big,” he said. “I’ve coached in Oakville for 15 years, I’ve had this team for seven. When we took over this team in minor atom, the goal was to make it to minor midget and have a really high profile team.

“A lot of these kids have been here since minor atom. We obviously added some new guys this year to try and get over the top and after today, it was worth all the headaches to go through everything.

The Rangers almost didn’t make it to the final.

Their semifinal match against the Halton Hurricanes went to overtime and in a way, they were lucky to have escaped with a 2-1 win.

“I mean, to think we were about three minutes from getting knocked out to where we are today, it just shows that these guys have done a great job fighting through adversity,” says Harvey. “We’re really proud of them, every single one of them.”

Craievich opened up the scoring for Oakville, wristing one past Marlboros goalie Tyler Richardson to make it 1-0 less than 90 seconds into the game.

After Stephens tied it up for Toronto early in the second period, Craievich and forward Sean Kohler added markers later in the frame to give Oakville a comfortable 3-1 cushion going into the third period.

From there, it was all Oakville as Kohler and forward Cody Petawabano scored to put the game out of reach for Toronto.

The Rangers finished the tournament with a 5-1-1 record, scoring 27 goals and allowing only seven. Craievich and Petawabano (two goals and five assists) were tied for the team scoring lead with seven points each in seven games.

Don Cherry was on hand to present the OHL Cup alongside OHL commissioner David Branch. Erie Otters phenom Connor McDavid also made an appearance, briefly staying to congratulate several of the Rangers and pose for photographs.