Kristopher Foucault scored twice in a five-goal first period as the Calgary Hitmen finished round-robin play at the Memorial Cup with a 5-1 defeat of the tournament-host Brandon Wheat Kings on Wednesday.
Calgary's line of Foucault, Tyler Shattock and Jimmy Bubnick scored four of the five goals in the period. Goalie Martin Jones did the rest, finishing with 39 saves.
Jay Fehr scored Brandon's only goal, and goalie Jacob DeSerres, who allowed five goals on 14 shots in the first period, kept the game scoreless from that point, stopping all 16 shots he faced over the final two periods.
The teams will meet again Friday (8 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, Sportsnet) in the semifinals, with the winner advancing to Sunday's championship game against the defending Memorial Cup champion Windsor Spitfires. Windsor is aiming to become the first repeat champion since the 1994-95 Kamloops Blazers.
Bubnick, an Atlanta Thrashers prospect, had a goal and 3 assists to give him a tournament-leading 8 points, two more than Windsor's Taylor Hall.
Foucault, a Minnesota Wild prospect, had 2 goals and 2 assists, while Shattock, a St. Louis Blues hopeful, had a goal and an assist.
Foucault opened the scoring just 3:15 into the game. Jay Fehr evened things for the Wheat Kings just 29 seconds later when he scored his first of the tournament.
That would be the lone bright spot in the opening 20 minutes for Brandon, as Calgary blew the game open. Foucault put Calgary ahead at 6:36 before the Hitmen scored three times in a 3:03 span.
With an aggressive forecheck that kept the puck trapped in the Brandon end, Cody Beach, Bubnick and Shattock all scored from right in front on besieged DeSerres, a 2008 third-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Brandon played far better in the second period and nearly got a goal when Shayne Wiebe's shot trickled through Jones' pads and rolled most of the way across the goal line before it was saved by defenseman Giffen Nyren -- despite the goal light going on, video replay showed no goal.
Nyren and defense partner Michael Stone put in yeoman's work against Brandon's top line of Matt Calvert, Brayden Schenn and Scott Glennie, limiting the trio no points and a minus-3 rating.
Befitting two teams that were meeting for the 10th time -- four times in the Western Hockey League regular season, and five times in a WHL league semifinal playoff series won by Calgary -- things were rough and physical, with the teams combining for 105 penalty minutes -- 67 alone in the third period. Beach, a 2010 Entry Draft prospect, fought a pair of Brandon players, New York Islanders prospect Travis Hamonic in the first period and Michael Ferland in the third.
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