The Memorial Cup, a four-team round-robin tournament to determine the champion of the Canadian Hockey League, features the winners of the Ontario Hockey League (Guelph Storm), Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (Rouyn-Noranda) and Western Hockey League (Prince Albert Raiders), and the host Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL. The event is being held at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, from May 17-26, and features several NHL-drafted prospects and some eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft.
In the third game of the Memorial Cup, Halifax defeated Guelph 4-2 on Sunday.
Here are three things we learned on the third day:
1. Lavoie continues offensive surge
Halifax right wing Raphael Lavoie, No. 20 in NHL Central Scouting's final list of North American skaters eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft, scored a goal and had a team-high eight shots on goal, extending his point streak to two games (one goal, one assist) in the Memorial Cup.
Lavoie scored his first goal of the tournament after moving around Guelph defenseman Owen LaLonde between the circles and scoring shorthanded goal to give Halifax a 2-1 lead 6:48 into the second period.
Halifax is 8-for-9 on the penalty kill in two Memorial Cup games; it was first in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League during the regular season with an 85.6 penalty-killing percentage and scored seven shorthanded goals.
2. Durzi shines again offensively
Guelph defensman Sean Durzi, chosen in the second round (No. 52) of the 2018 NHL Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs after being passed over in the 2017 Draft, scored two goals and has 13 points during a seven-game point streak (two goals, 11 assists), dating to Game 2 of the OHL final.
He scored off a slapshot from the point with 50 second left in the first period to tie the game 1-1 and scored a power-play goal 1:07 into the third to pull the Storm within 3-2. The 6-foot, 188-pound right-handed shot has five points (two goals, three assists) in two Memorial Cup games.
The 20-year-old was traded twice this season. The Maple Leafs made him part of the package sent to the Los Angeles Kings for defenseman Jake Muzzin on Jan. 28. That followed the Jan. 4 trade that sent him from Owen Sound to Guelph in the OHL.
3. Mooseheads captain sets the tone
Halifax center Antoine Morand, a second-round pick (No. 60) of the Anaheim Ducks in the 2017 NHL Draft, had a goal and an assist and drew a tripping penalty late in the game to spark the Mooseheads. Halifax, guaranteed a semifinal round game Friday, is the second host team to start the tournament with two straight wins in the past 10 years and first since the 2017 champion Windsor Spitfires.
Morand (5-10, 175) scored off a pass from Jocktan Chainey (New Jersey Devils) at the left post 5:10 into the first period to give Halifax a 1-0 lead.
The Mooseheads captain, signed to a three-year, entry-level contract by the Ducks on May 29, 2018, helped lead Acadie-Bathurst to the 2018 Memorial Cup championship with two assists in four tournament games. The 20-year-old, traded to the Moosheads on June 1, 2018, was fifth on Halifax with 70 points (22 goals, 48 assists) in 62 games. He also had a 54.0 face-off winning percentage (321-of-594).
2019 Memorial Cup schedule
May 17: Halifax 4, Prince Albert 1
May 18: Guelph 5, Rouyn-Noranda 2
May 19: Halifax 4, Guelph 2
May 20: Rouyn-Noranda vs. Prince Albert (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVAS)
May 21: Guelph vs. Prince Albert (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVAS)
May 22: Halifax vs. Rouyn-Noranda (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS)
May 23: Tiebreaker, if necessary (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVAS)
May 24: Semifinal (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVAS)
May 26: Final (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVAS)
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