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Cataractes eliminate Oil Kings from Memorial Cup

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

SHAWINIGAN, QUE. (CP) -- The Shawinigan Cataractes got goals from six different players as they coasted to a 6-1 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings in the tiebreaker game Thursday night at the Mastercard Memorial Cup.

The win put host Shawinigan (2-2) into the semifinal on Friday night against the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Saint John Sea Dogs (2-1). It will be the Cataractes’ third game in as many nights.

The winner advances to the final Sunday night against the Ontario Hockey League champion London Knights (2-1).

Post-game comments - Morgan Ellis

The Oil Kings (1-3) never found their stride after beating Shawinigan 4-3 in the tournament opener. The last Western Hockey League club to be the tournament’s first casualty was Kelowna in 2005.

Yannick Veilleux, Morgan Ellis, Anton Zlobin, Kirill Kabanov, Michael Bournival and Pierre-Olivier Morin scored for the Cataractes, while Brandon Gormley and Michael Chaput each had two assists.

Henrik Samuelsson replied for the Oil Kings, who were outshot 31-30.

Shawinigan was coming off a 4-1 loss on Wednesday night to Saint John, the QMJHL powerhouse that is seeking a second straight Memorial Cup title.

Nerves were evident for both teams in the opening minutes until Veilleux opened the scoring at 7:30, tipping in a Gormley point shot after some good work from Kabanov.

Ellis was in the left circle to one-time a Gormley pass during a power play at 17:01.

The Cataractes scored on their first shot of the middle period as Zlobin one-timed a back pass from Chaput past Laurent Brossoit at 1:54.

Proof that everything was going Shawinigan’s way came when Kabanov’s shot went off Brossoit rebounded off the end glass, hit the goaltender again and rolled into the net at 2:59.

Bournival added a power-play goal at 8:11 and it went from bad to worse for Edmonton when Morin picked off a pass and scored on a short-handed breakaway for a 6-0 lead at 13:59.

Edmonton finally got one with Shawinigan on a line change as Stephane Legault sent Samuelsson in on a breakaway to beat Gabriel Girard.

The Oil Kings, a young team that will have most of its top players back next season, arrived in Shawinigan only a few days after beating Portland in seven games in the WHL final. They never seemed to find their legs in Energy City, Shawinigan’s nickname because of its hydro power plant.

The Cataractes were knocked out in the second round of the QMJHL playoffs and had a 31-day break before the Memorial Cup.

NOTES: Shawinigan took Peter Sakaris and Felix-Antoine Bergeron out and put Mitchell Maynard and Frederik Gaudreau into the lineup. Bergeron got a cross-check in the neck Wednesday against Saint John. … QMJHL teams are now 3-3 all-time in tiebreakers, while the WHL is 4-3.

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