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Oshawa's Cirelli still enjoying Memorial Cup moment

by Adam Kimelman /

BUFFALO -- It's been four days since Oshawa Generals forward Anthony Cirelli scored in overtime of the championship game at the 2015 Memorial Cup, and he's still smiling.

With the score tied 1-1 early in the extra period, Cirelli set a screen in front of Kelowna Rockets goaltender Jackson Whistle as Oshawa defenseman Chris Carlisle fired a shot from the top of the right circle. Whistle stopped Carlisle's shot, but Cirelli had strong position at the edge of the crease, boxed out Whistle and cleaned up the rebound to start the celebration.

Cirelli also scored the Generals' goal in regulation, finishing a 2-on-1 to tie the game at 13:50 of the second period. They were Cirelli's only two goals of the tournament.

"It was kind of a blur," Cirelli said Thursday of the seconds after he scored in overtime. "I remember it going in. Then we were hoisting the cup."

Two days later the players were honored with a parade through Oshawa that ended at their home rink, General Motors Centre.

After being passed over twice in the OHL draft and making Oshawa's roster this season as a tryout, scoring the winning goal in the Memorial Cup is even more than he could have envisioned.

"I really never thought this could happen a year ago," he said.

Cirelli is focused on the Scouting Combine this week, especially the stationary bikes that are part of the fitness testing. He's No. 67 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2015 NHL Draft.

Including the regular season, the Ontario Hockey League playoffs and the Memorial Cup, Cirelli played 93 games in a season that began in late September and ended Sunday. He's tired, but he knows what he's in for. Since he's come this far, he's not about to give anything less than his best for a chance to push his hockey hopes even further.

"I haven't really worked out; I've] been playing games ever other day," Cirelli said. "I'm going to go out there and do my best."


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