Despite a depleted lineup with eight regulars absent, and three Parkland Rangers called up, the Dauphin Kings pulled off a three goal comeback to spoil the Oil Caps Christmas game in OT.
Matteo made numerous highlight reel stops in the win, turning aside 51 of 54 pucks sent his way.
Kyle Oleksiuk opened the scoring for the Kings 2:11 into the game. A familiar face evened the score at the halfway mark when Kirklan Lycar put the Oil Caps on the board.
The second period was mostly uneventful, until the Oil Caps took their first lead when Kyle Salaway found the back of the net with 22.7 seconds left in the frame.
The Oil Caps extended their lead to two goals with a power play marker at the 5:04 mark of the third period.
Daniel Chartrand decided it was time for the Kings to get back into the win column. Matt Greening scored at the 9:00 mark to bring the Kings within one after Chartrand forced a turnover in the Oil Caps end and connected with his hometown teammate.
At 15:50 the Oil Caps had the puck in the Kings end and attempted a D-to-D blue line pass, when Chartrand intercepted it, and rushed down the ice on a breakaway. Caps goaltender Riley McVeigh turned aside Chartrand's first shot, but the Dauphin forward tapped his own rebound through McVeigh's five hole to tie the game.
The rest of the third period would solve nothing, and the game would need overtime.
In overtime Matteo Esposito turned aside an Oil Caps scoring chance. Off the ensuing faceoff, Chartrand saw the ice opening up, and fired a pass to Ashton Clark at the opposite blue line, giving Clark a clear break to the net. Clark finished on the breakaway giving the Kings the win.
The Kings now look ahead to Sunday's game against Selkirk, their last of 2016, a 6:00pm puck drop at Credit Union Place.
Team Canada West defeated Switzerland 5-3 to finish fifth place at the World Junior A Challenge in Bonnyville, AB.
Switzerland opened the scoring at the 4:00 minute mark of the first period. Canada responded 1:33 later and scored another two goals after that for good measure.
Switzerland attempted a comeback but only got as close as two goals away with their third score in the third period.
Steinbach Pistons defenseman Darby Gula assisted on Canada West's fifth goal.
Russia defeated the Czech Republic 7-4 in the bronze medal game.
Canada East and the USA play for gold Saturday.
Team Canada West, Dauphin Kings coach Marc Berry, and forward Riese Gaber of Gilbert Plains play Switzerland for 5th place at the World Junior A Challenge in Bonnyville, AB today.
Canada West lost to the Czechs in a quarter-final shootout after allowing a last second third period goal to force overtime. The Czechs scored just one goal in the five round shootout. Gaber was Canada West's last shooter and couldn't score to keep Canada alive.
The Swiss lost their quarter final game to the States 9-0.
The Parkland Rangers host the Brandon AAA Wheat Kings this evening at Credit Union Place for a 7:30 puck drop.
Tonight's game was originally to be played last week but was rescheduled due to Highway 10 through Riding Mountain being closed due to weather.
The Rangers are coming off a three point weekend against the Norman Northstars. The Rangers are 1-1 against Brandon this season.
The Dauphin Kings went 0-2 at the MJHL Showcase after a 4-1 loss to Selkirk Tuesday and a 6-3 loss to Portage Wednesday.
The Terriers scored two goals each period to pace their offence including the game's opening score just 56 seconds in.
The Kings found an answer before the end of the first period though, when Ashton Clark tapped in the Kings first score to cut the Terriers' lead in half.
The Kings were held off the board in the second but found their scoring touch in the third period. Trailing 6-1 the King scored two goals 59 seconds apart. Dauphin's Daniel Chartrand and Matt Greening scored. All three of the Kings goals were scored on the power play.
Keaton Leininger picked up a quiet three point inght, assisting on all of Dauphin's goals. Daniel Chartrand, and Ashton Clark each had two point nights.
The Kings are back in action again on the road against Virden Saturday.