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Rouyn-Noranda Advances To Memorial Cup Final

by Ron Knabenbauer / Colorado Avalanche

The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies are just one win away from another championship.

Rouyn-Noranda defeated the host Red Deer Rebels 3-1 on Friday night in the Memorial Cup semifinal at the Enmax Centrium in Red Deer, Alberta, and will now face the London Knights in the Canadian Hockey League's title game.

The Memorial Cup final is Sunday at 2:30 p.m. MT. It will be televised live in the United States on NHL Network.

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Huskies scored the contest's first three goals, including two within 57 seconds of each other midway through the opening stanza.

Avalanche prospect AJ Greer assisted on Martins Dzierkals goal at 11:58 of the first, which gave Rouyn-Noranda a two-score advantage and turned out to be the game-winner.

Both clubs tallied power-play goals in the second period. Nikolas Brouillard stretched the Huskies' lead to 3-0 at 5:04 before Luke Philp finally found the back of the net for the Rebels with 6:26 left in the stanza.

Francis Perron notched the contest's opening goal during a man advantage at 10:51 of the first period.

Rouyn-Noranda was outshot 37-24 in the contest, but goaltender Chase Marchand was sharp all night. He stopped 14-of-15 shots he faced in the second period and denied all 11 of Red Deer's chances in both the first and third frames.

Colorado prospects JC Beaudin and Julien Nantel both had strong games in the faceoff circle for the Huskies. Beaudin went 11-for-19 on his draws while Nantel won seven of his 12 faceoff attempts.

The victory was redemption for Rouyn-Noranda as it fell 5-2 to Red Deer last Sunday in the clubs' round-round matchup. In that contest, the Huskies scored the game's first two goals before the Rebels stormed back with five unanswered.

Sunday's championship against London will be another chance for Rouyn-Noranda to get payback as it lost 5-2 to the Ontario Hockey League champions on Tuesday. The Knights are currently riding a 16-game winning streak, as they haven't lost since the first round of the OHL playoffs on April 1.

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