Three games in three nights seemed to catch up to the Memorial Cup hosts today. The well rested Kelowna Rockets blew out the Quebec Remparts 9-3, and claim their place in Sunday’s Memorial Cup final against the Oshawa Generals.
Kelowna Crushes Quebec in Memorial Cup Semi-Final
The Remparts started off well enough, and even took a 1-0 lead three minutes into the game on a goal by Adam Erne. However the lead would not last long as Chance Braid would even the score just over six minutes later. As the period went on, it became clear that the intense rivalry games played between Quebec and Rimouski on Wednesday and Thursday had taken their toll on the Remparts and Kelowna began to control the play. Only a shot off the post, and some solid goaltending from Zach Fucale had the score at 1-1 heading to the first intermission.
The imminent Rockets breakthrough would come just 17 seconds into the second period as Leon Draisatl found an opening in the Remparts defence to score a powerplay goal and give Kelowna a 2-1 lead. Discipline was also an issue for the Remparts as a Justin Kirkland power play goal gave the Rockets a 3-1 lead.
Quebec used a timeout to try and stop the Kelowna momentum, but it was of no use as Kirkland would pounce on a rebound and score another goal just 42 seconds after his first. This goal seemed to seal the deal for the Rockets and the next 35 or so minutes seemed elementary. The Rockets had solved Fucale, and the Remparts no longer had any answers for the barrage of shots fired by the Rockets on this night.
While the Remparts got an early goal from Anthony Duclair at the start of the third, as they desperately tried to get back into the game, it would not be enough. Kelowna had a major speed and energy advantage, allowing them to continue to generate chances and bury the Remparts under an avalanche of goals. Rourke Chartier, Nick Merkley, Draisatl and Kirkland seemed to provide the Rockets with a level of energy that Quebec just couldn’t match.
The win sets up a rematch of Tuesdays game between the Rockets and the Oshawa Generals. The Generals won the first meeting between the clubs 2-1. It’s a match up between the two best teams in this tournament, in a one game winner take all scenario.