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2015 Memorial Cup preview

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

The 2015 Memorial Cup will take place from May 22 to 31 in Quebec City. Two Canadiens prospects – forward Michael McCarron and goaltender Zachary Fucale – will take part in the annual tournament. Here’s a preview of what to expect.

Quebec Remparts (40-25-1-2) – Tournament hosts

This year’s hosts were also nearly the QMJHL champions after falling in double-overtime to the Rimouski Oceanic in Game 7 of the Quebec final.

Led by Fucale, the Canadiens’ second-round draft pick in 2013 was the Remparts’ starting netminder for the remainder of the postseason after initially sitting out the first two games of the opening round in favor of teammate Callum Booth. Quebec went on to sweep their second- and third-round opponents before seeing their playoff run end to Rimouski in the final.

Fucale will be vying for a second-career Memorial Cup, having previously won in 2013 with the Halifax Mooseheads.

This will be the seventh Memorial Cup appearance for the Quebec, which won the tournament in 1971 and 2006.

Oshawa Generals (51-11-2-4) – OHL Champions

The Generals’ 12 Memorial Cup appearances are the most across Canada, but the OHL Champions have not won the tournament since 1990. A fifth title for Oshawa this year in Quebec City would be the most in CHL history.

McCarron, the Canadiens’ first-round draft pick in 2013, was acquired from the London Knights near the halfway mark of the 2014-15 season, going on to finish the playoffs ranked fourth among his teammates with 18 points (9G, 9A) in 21 games, behind just Michael Dal Colle (31 PTS), Nick Ritchie (31 PTS) and Tobias Lindberg (19 PTS)

Rimouski Oceanic (47-16-3-2) – QMJHL Champions

The Oceanic have the least Memorial Cup appearances among the teams at this year’s tournament, with just four.

After finishing the regular season first overall in the QMJHL, the Quebec champions lost just one game over the first three rounds of the playoffs before besting the Remparts in the final.

Rimouski will be looking for a second Memorial Cup championship since first winning the tournament in 2000, with Brad Richards on the roster. Led by Sidney Crosby, the Oceanic also reached the 2005 final, but fell to Corey Perry, Brandon Prust, and the London Knights.

Kelowna Rockets (53-13-5-1) – WHL Champions

The 2015 WHL champions lost just three of 19 games on their road to this year’s Memorial Cup.

The Rockets’ roster is made up of ten current NHL prospects, including Edmonton’s third-overall pick, Leon Draisaitl. The German center, who played 37 NHL games this season with the Oilers, finished the WHL playoffs ranked first among his teammates with 28 points (10G, 8A) in 19 games.

Kelowna makes its fifth Memorial Cup appearance in 2015, after first winning the trophy in 2004.

- canadiens.com

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