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Greer Scores as Huskies Win Memorial Cup Opener

by Ron Knabenbauer / Colorado Avalanche

The Brandon Wheat Kings played their best hockey early on and in the late stages of Saturday night's game against the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. However, it was the middle part that hurt them.

Rouyn-Noranda scored five unanswered goals after falling down 1-0 just 2:44 into the contest and held off a late rush by the Western Hockey League champions to pick up a 5-3 victory on the second day of the Memorial Cup at the Enmax Centrium in Red Deer, Alberta.

AJ Greer

Colorado Avalanche prospect AJ Greer scored the Huskies' first goal and Timo Meier tallied twice to help the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League titleholders start their first Memorial Cup tournament on the right foot. Greer also had four shots and six penalty minutes.

Gabriel Fontaine and Philippe Myers also had goals for the Huskies, while goaltender Chase Marchand made 38 saves.

Brandon outshot Rouyn-Noranda 41-29, but most of that output came from a strong push in the third period as it held a 20-4 advantage in an attempt to get back into the contest.

The Wheat Kings did make the Huskies sweat a bit in the final stanza as Tyler Coulter and John Quenneville, whose marker might be the best of the year, tallied 4:07 apart midway through the third period to cut the deficit to two.

Reid Duke tallied the opening goal for Brandon, but Greer began a Huskies onslaught that saw them score three times in the final six minutes of the first period to take a 3-1 lead going into the intermission.

Greer began the game on Rouyn-Noranda's top line, while fellow Colorado prospects JC Beaudin and Julien Nantel helped make up the team's third trio. Nantel went 6-for-16 on faceoffs, while Beaudin lost the only draw he took.

The Huskies won't get much rest before their next game at the tournament as they face the host Red Deer Rebels on Sunday at 5 p.m. MT.

Credit: Rob Wallator/CHL

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