The Moncton Wildcats won the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League title Monday, becoming the fourth and final team to qualify for the Memorial Cup.
Moncton now joins the host Brandon Wheat Kings, the OHL champion Windsor Spitfires and the WHL champion Calgary Hitmen in the four-team tournament to crown Canada hockey's junior champion. Windsor won last year's event.
This year's tournament starts May 14; all games will be televised in the U.S. on the NHL Network and in Canada on Rogers Sportsnet.
prospect Kelsey Tessier
and Scott Brannon
had 2 goals and an assist each, and Marek Hrivik, ranked No. 194 by NHL Central Scouting for the 2010 Entry Draft, had a pair of goals as Moncton eliminated the Saint John Sea Dogs, 7-4, to win the series in six games.
, Central Scouting's sixth-ranked North American skater, was a plus-2, and finished the QMJHL playoffs with 17 points and a plus-14 rating in 21 games.
Saint John's Stephen MacAulay
, ranked No. 85 by Central Scouting, opened the scoring, but Moncton scored the next six goals to lead 6-1 after two periods.
Saint John rallied early in the third, getting a pair of goals from Michael Kirkpatrick
27 seconds apart less than four minutes into the period, and then Yann Sauve
scored to get the Sea Dogs within two, but Brannon's second goal, an empty-netter with 1:34 left, closed the scoring.
This will be the first Memorial Cup appearance for Moncton since 2006, when they lost in the final as the event's host. This year's Wildcats survived the loss of top forward Nicolas Deschamps
to injury and the defection of high-scoring forward Kirill Kabanov
, who left the team two games into its playoff run to return to Russia.
"We've had so many injuries all season," Moncton coach Danny Flynn told the Times and Transcript of New Brunswick. "These kids deserve so much credit for overcoming lots of adversity and climbing to the top of the mountain. These kids sacrificed so many things that people don't see to achieve this. It's not the life of a typical teenager that they have.
"This is a very dedicated group of players that we have and I'm so proud of what they've accomplished. It's so nice to see that all their commitment and hard work has paid off by winning the championship.''