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Kulda leads Edmonton past London at Memorial Cup

by Adam Kimelman

Edgars Kulda, a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, had two goals and an assist to lead the Western Hockey League champion Edmonton Oil Kings to a 5-2 victory against the host London Knights at the Memorial Cup on Sunday night.

The Latvia-born forward is No. 145 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American forwards for the 2014 NHL Draft.

Luke Bertolucci scored twice and Reid Petryk also had a goal for Edmonton. Goaltender Tristan Jarry, a Pittsburgh Penguins prospect, stopped 30 of 32 shots.

Alex Basso and Dakota Mermis scored for London. Goaltender Anthony Stolarz, a 2012 Philadelphia Flyers draft pick, allowed three goals on 30 shots in two periods.

The win evens the Oil Kings' record at 1-1 one night after losing 5-2 to the Guelph Storm, champions of the Ontario Hockey League.

London dropped to 0-2 at the tournament following its 1-0 loss to the Val-d'Or Foreurs, champions of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, in the tournament opener Friday.

Kulda set up Petryk's goal midway through the first, and then gave Edmonton a 2-0 lead 6:05 into the second when he cut through the high slot and beat Stolarz.

After Basso got London on the board, Kulda gave Edmonton a 3-1 lead after hard work at the front of net saw him poke a loose puck under Stolarz with 1:56 left in the second.

Kulda, a 5-foot-11, 177-pound left wing, had 30 goals and 60 points in 66 regular-season games and had 10 goals and 22 points in 21 WHL playoff games.

Jake Patterson replaced Stolarz in net to start the third, but it didn't light a spark. Bertolucci scored from the right circle at 5:54 to make it 4-1. Mermis scored off a rebound at 9:27 and got the Knights within two, but Bertolucci's power-play goal with 1:37 remaining closed the scoring.

Patterson made 11 saves on 13 shots in the third.

Edmonton next plays Tuesday, against Val-d'Or. London is off until Wednesday, when they face Guelph.


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