Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Oshawa Generals Slight Favourites over Kelowna Rockets in Memorial Cup Final

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Oshawa Generals Slight Favourites over Kelowna Rockets in Memorial Cup Final

Article excerpt

Rockets, Generals set for Mem Cup final

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QUEBEC CITY, Que. - It would be fitting that the final game at the soon-to-closed Pepsi Colisee be a wild, end-to-end goal festival like many Quebec City teams have played through the decades, but it's not likely to happen.

The Mastercard Memorial Cup final on Sunday between the Oshawa Generals and Kelowna will likely be a physical, defensive struggle where a scoring star like the Rockets' Leon Draisaitl will have to battle for every centimetre of space.

"It's two fast, physical teams going at it," said Draisaitl, who leads the tournament with seven points in four games. "So it's not going to be a run-and-gun game.

"It's going to be a cycle game, a momentum-shifting game."

The Ontario Hockey League champion Generals will be the slight favourite, based on a 3-0 record in round-robin play that gave them direct entry into the final. Oshawa will be rested, having been off since its 2-1 win over Western Hockey League champion Kelowna on Tuesday.

The Rockets' attack will be pumped up after a 9-3 win over the host Quebec Remparts in the semifinal on Friday night.

In their head-to-head meeting, the Generals used a smothering forecheck to hold the Rockets to only six shots through the first 30 minutes. Oshawa took the lead on goals from Cole Cassels and Tobias Lindberg before Gage Quinney answered with one off a rush at 18:11 of the second period.

With Oshawa protecting a lead in the third, the Rockets went on attack and nearly tied it when Nick Merkley hit a post with six minutes left. Kelowna had a two-man advantage for a full minute late in the game, but couldn't beat goalie Ken Appleby.

"They're a good team," Oshawa defenceman Dakota Mermis said of the Rockets. "They have good defence, they can score goals. …

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