Oshawa clinches spot in Memorial Cup final

The Oshawa Generals have earned a spot in the Mastercard Memorial Cup final, but there was a hairy moment before it became official. Leading by one goal with 4:24 left to play, one of their top penalty-killing defenceman, Dakota Mermis, was sent off for kneeing, followed a minute later by teammate Cole Cassels for delay of game.

QUEBEC — The Oshawa Generals have earned a spot in the Mastercard Memorial Cup final, but there was a hairy moment before it became official.

Leading by one goal with 4:24 left to play, one of their top penalty-killing defenceman, Dakota Mermis, was sent off for kneeing, followed a minute later by teammate Cole Cassels for delay of game.

But the Generals managed to kill off the two-man advantage and preserve the 2-1 victory over the Western Hockey league champion Kelowna Rockets on Tuesday night.

“The clock couldn’t go fast enough, but fortunately we have a really deep team and the guys stepped up and got the job done,” said Mermis.

Cassels and Tobias Lindberg scored in the second period and the Generals, who dominated the opening two periods, held on to finish the round-robin portion of the four-team tournament at 3-0. That gave them direct entry into Sunday’s final.

“We’re certainly excited but the work’s not over,” said Cassels. “We’ve been waiting for that Sunday game all year. It’ll be the biggest moment of our lives.”

Gage Quinney, with his fourth of the event, scored for the Rockets (1-2), whose fate will be determined by the outcome of a game Wednesday night between the Quebec champion Rimouski Oceanic (0-2) and the host Quebec Remparts (1-1).

The final shot tally was 29-21 for Oshawa, but Kelowna had only six shots by the mid-point of the second frame, with Michael McCarron doing a masterful job of neutralizing Rockets star Leon Draisaitl.

Kelowna, which had the only three power plays of the game, only made it close when the Generals sat back in the third to protect the lead.

The Rockets had a handful of glittering chances during their two-man advantage, but either missed open nets or had their shots absorbed by goalie Ken Appleby.

“We didn’t bear down and we didn’t get the result we needed,” said Rockets captain Madison Bowey. “But we’re not out of it. We have to climb back, but it’s not over.”

“We had a few chances but we looked nervous a bit,” said Rockets coach Dan Lambert, whose squad had fired seven pucks past two Rimouski goalies on Monday night.

“We were squeezing our sticks too tight.”

The Remparts can book a spot as the “home” team in the semifinal if they defeat Rimouski, the team that edged them in overtime in Game 7 of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey league final.

The start of the game was delayed by an on-ice tribute and banner raising ceremony for former goaltending great Patrick Roy, who was owner, GM and coach of the Quebec Remparts. He got a long standing ovation.

Just Posted

Man from Olds killed in collision near Sundre

A 39-year-old man from Olds was killed in a collision near Sundre… Continue reading

Tips to keep crime at bay this Christmas

’Tis the season for joy and celebration, but the Christmas season can… Continue reading

Olympic ski run designer creates upgrades at Canyon Ski Resort

Jeff Ihaksi says free-style and alpine ski venues are Canada Winter Games-worthy

Updated: Collision expert backs version of crash of driver accused of manslaughter

Daniel Newsham accused of manslaughter in fatal 2016 collision

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Tkachuk’s goal in 3rd gives Flames 2-1 win over Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Matthew Tkachuk scored the go-ahead goal midway through… Continue reading

Women use scent to lure wolf-dog that ran away from Calgary airport

EDMONTON — A woman from Alberta is thanking an unconventional strategy for… Continue reading

Suspect in Alberta, Saskatchewan bank robberies to get mental assessment

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — A former Winnipeg broadcaster and journalism instructor accused… Continue reading

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau says his government hopes to make legal changes… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $60 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — There was no winning ticket for the $60 million jackpot… Continue reading

All evacuation orders lifted in deadly California wildfire

PARADISE, Calif. — All evacuation orders have been lifted in Paradise more… Continue reading

All aflutter about our feathered friends

Christmas Bird Count will be held Dec. 23

Baylor ties pervade rape case that sparked uproar

DALLAS — The Texas judge who approved a plea deal allowing a… Continue reading

Most Read