Saturday, May 24, 2014

Oil Kings Eliminate Foreurs

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s reign as Memorial Cup champions has come to an end.

Curtis Lazar ended the longest Memorial Cup game in history with a goal at 2:42 of triple overtime last night, giving the Edmonton Oil Kings a 4-3 victory over the Val-d’Or Foreurs in the national semi-final. The win advances the Western Hockey League champs to Sunday’s final where they will face the Guelph Storm.

The fact that the Foreurs got this game into overtime was impressive. The Oil Kings were up 3-1 in the second but a late Randy Gazzola goal made it 3-2 heading into the third. With 36 seconds left in regulation time, a Guillaume Gelinas shot from the point got through all kinds in traffic and Tristan Jarry in the Edmonton net to tie things at 3-3.

Both teams had their chances in overtime. In the second overtime frame, Val-d’Or had a power play but could not capitalize.

Antoine Bibeau made 50 saves in the loss while Jarry made 46 in the win.

It was a good run for the Foreurs who upset the Halifax Mooseheads in the QMJHL semi-finals and then the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in the final. The fact that they were a goal away from reaching Sunday’s championship game has be hard to swallow.

It was also a good run for the QMJHL who, for the first time since 2010, will not be the home of the national champions. Saint John won in 2011, Shawinigan in 2012, and Halifax in 2013.

The Storm will be looking to become the first Memorial Cup champions from Ontario since the 2010 Windsor Spitfires. The Oil Kings will be looking to bring the trophy back to the WHL for the first time since the 2008 Spokane Chiefs.

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