RIMOUSKI, Que. - Tyler Myers and Jamie Benn each had a goal and two assists as the Kelowna Rockets open the 91st MasterCard Memorial Cup with a dominant 4-1 victory over the host Rimouski Oceanic on Friday night.
Ian Duval and Lucas Bloodoff also scored for the Rockets, who outshot the Oceanic 42-20 despite having to kill off a pair of two-man disadvantages.
Philippe Cornet ended Mark Guggenberger's shutout bid with a goal at 13:04 of the third period, rewarding the 4,695 fans at the Colisee de Rimousk. The home crowd did not stop cheering and banging their noisemakers all night, even as the Rockets overpowered the Oceanic with high-paced, physical hockey.
The Rockets were led by Myers and Benn, both members of the Canadian team that won gold at the world junior championship in Ottawa in January.
The round robin portion of the four-team event continues Saturday (4:40 p.m. ET) when the Ontario Hockey League champion Windsor Spitfires face the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League-winning Drummondville Voltigeurs.
The Oceanic had not played a game since being eliminated from the QMJHL playoffs April 22, and rust may have played a part in a dismal start to the game.
Rimouski goaltender Maxime Gougeon kept his team in the contest in the opening period, as Kelowna outshot the hosts 17-8. He allowed only the rangy six-foot-eight Myers' goal on off-wing shot from the top of the left circle that appeared to go in off a defenceman 6:33 into the game.
Rimouski failed to capitalize on a 5-on-3 advantage later in the period.
Benn banged Myers' rebound into an open side on a power play 4:33 into the second frame and Myers also picked up an assist on Duval's goal at 5:52.
Only 1:29 into the third, draft-eligible Tyson Barrie's shot went in off Bloodoff to make it 4-0.
The Rockets may have let up late in the game, as Jordan Caron tipped a just over the cross bar, before Keven Veilleux won a draw in the Kelowna end and got the puck to Cornet in the slot for Rimouski's only goal.
Notes: Brian O'Neil was named disciplinary chairman of the tournament. . . The Oceanic wore sweaters commemorating the HMCS Rimouski, a corvette in service during the Second World War. . . Aaron Borejko, Shane McColgan and Spender Main didn't dress for Kelowna while Ryan Kavanagh, Ilya Silik, Maxime Ouimet and Nicholas Samoluk sat out for Rimouski.