Michael McCarron and the Oshawa Generals clinched a spot in the Memorial Cup final on Tuesday night with a 2-1 win over the Kelowna Rockets at the Colisee Pepsi.
McCarron failed to register a point for the first time during the tournament, but he still came close to scoring in the latter stages of the first period. While his shot beat Rockets goaltender Jackson Whistle between the legs, it ultimately hit the goal post. The 20-year-old centreman finished the night with a minus-1 differential, registering two shots on goal, dishing out three hits and winning nine of the 20 draws he took.
McCarron was also used in a crucial defensive role during the game, taking to the ice while the Generals were trying to kill off a 5-on-3 situation at the end of the game in order to protect a one-goal lead.
“[Coach] has been using me in those situations all year, especially in those defensive situations to win some faceoffs,” offered McCarron. “Unfortunately, I didn’t win that one, but I thought I did a good job working with our defenseman and getting in the passing lanes. I know they had some good chances. I think we were right in their kitchen a little bit too much and they couldn’t get a shot on net.”
The Generals will now enjoy a four-day break before vying for the Memorial Cup title. Their opponent will be determined during the semi-final on Friday night.
“I love that we have four days off before the finals,” concluded McCarron. “Everybody in there is a little bit banged up and needs a little bit of extra rest. This is going to help us for sure.”