MONTREAL - When the 2009 Memorial Cup tournament kicks off in Rimouski, you can bet Josh Gorges
will have his eyes glued to one team in particular.
|With the “C” sewn to his jersey, Gorges helped guide Kelowna to its only Memorial Cup crown. |
Long before he took his first strides in the NHL, Gorges was busy leading the Kelowna Rockets to unprecedented heights in the spring of 2004. With the “C” sewn to his jersey, a 19-year-old Gorges helped guide Kelowna to its only Memorial Cup crown.
On a blue line that also included the likes of future All-Star defenseman Shea Weber, Gorges played a huge role in the Rockets' Cup run. In addition to ranking fourth among WHL defensemen in playoffs points that year, Gorges also assisted on the Cup-clinching goal by teammate Justin Keller late in the third period of Kelowna’s 2-1 win over the Gatineau Olympiques.
Born and raised in Kelowna, Gorges spent four seasons with his hometown Rockets, leading them to two straight Memorial Cup berths in 2003 and 2004. After returning to the tourney in 2005 following Gorges’ departure, the Rockets haven’t reached Canadian junior hockey’s grandest stage until this year.
The 2008-09 Rockets will have their work cut out for them as they measure up to OHL champion Windsor Spitfires, QMJHL champion Drummondville Voltigeurs and host Rimouski Oceanic. Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com
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