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Val d'Or tops Edmonton in double OT at Memorial Cup

by Mike G. Morreale

Center Anthony Richard scored off a breakaway 1:15 into the second overtime to give the Val-d'Or Foreurs a 4-3 victory against the Edmonton Oil Kings in round-robin play of the Memorial Cup on Tuesday night at Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario.

Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Antoine Bibeau made 47 saves for Val-d'Or and Oil Kings goalie Tristan Jarry (Pittsburgh Penguins) stopped 29 shots.

In attendance was Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis, who had to be pleased with the effort by Bibeau, a 2013 sixth-round pick (No. 172).

Richard scored his unassisted goal after picking up a loose puck in the neutral zone and speeding into the zone before delivering his first goal of the tournament through the five-hole. Richard shielded the puck from Edmonton defenseman Ashton Sautner, who was closing in fast from behind. It marked Val-d'Or's first lead of the game; the team rallied from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits.

It was the sixth time in Memorial Cup history that a game entered double overtime.

Each team generated nine shots and hit the post once in the first overtime. Edmonton center Reid Petryk hit the crossbar in the opening minute and Val-d'Or defenseman Phil Pietroniro ripped a shot from the left circle off the post with less than five minutes remaining.

The victory enables the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Foreurs (2-1) to advance to the semifinal round of the tournament on Friday against an opponent to be determined.

If the London Knights defeat the Ontario Hockey League champ Guelph Storm in round-robin action Wednesday, the Oil Kings (1-2) will play the host team in a tiebreaker Thursday. If Guelph beats the Knights on Wednesday, the Oil Kings and Foreurs will play again in Friday's semifinal.

Guelph (2-0) has already earned a ticket to the Memorial Cup final on Sunday.

The valiant Foreurs, who were playing without the services of injured top defenseman Guillaume Gelinas (thigh), tied it 3-3 on their third shot of the third when captain Samuel Henley scored off a backhander from the slot at 15:49.

Gelinas led all defenders in the QMJHL this season with 92 points (23 goals, 69 assists) in 67 games, but got the worst of a knee-on-knee collision with Guelph defenseman Chadd Bauman on Monday and will miss the remainder of the tournament. Gelinas, who logged well over 25 minutes a game this season, was fourth in playoff scoring prior to his injury with 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) in 11 games. In his absence, Randy Gazzola, Ryan Graves (New York Rangers) and Jeremie Fraser played big minutes and excelled.

Right wing Anthony Mantha (Detroit Red Wings) made the play happen when he battled for a loose puck in the left-wing corner before dishing to Richard in the left circle. Richard quickly led Henley skating through the slot.

The Western Hockey League champion Oil Kings took a 3-2 lead early in the third when center Henrik Samuelsson (Phoenix Coyotes) connected at 5:46 off a quick move down the slot. Samuelsson took a pass from Brett Pollock in stride and fired a shot inside the right post that beat Bibeau to the glove side. Pollock is No. 34 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft.

The Foreurs, winner of the QMJHL championship, tied it 2-2 in the second when left wing Pierre-Maxime Poudrier scored a shorthanded goal off a breakaway at 9:38. Poudrier stole a puck at the left point and skated into the Edmonton end before scoring his first goal of the tournament past Jarry.

Val-d'Or pulled within 2-1 with 2:56 remaining in the first when right wing Shawn Ouellette-St. Amant deflected a big shot from the point by Graves past Jarry.

The Oil Kings opened a 2-0 lead in the first on goals by Petryk and Curtis Lazar (Ottawa Senators). Cody Corbett (Colorado Avalanche), who had two assists in the game, made a nice play to keep the puck inside the blue line at the left point before dumping it into the left corner for Lazar. The 6-foot, 195-pound center won a battle for the puck before feeding Petryk in the slot for the goal at 6:22.

Lazar made it 2-0 on the power play when he slammed home his first of the tournament off a rebound in front of Bibeau nine minutes into the game. Edmonton barely missed at extending the lead at 10:11 but Bibeau denied Edgars Kulda on a penalty shot.

Lazar led Kulda on a clean breakaway attempt during a Val-d'Or power play, but was hooked from behind. Kulda's penalty shot attempt was one of 12 saves made by Bibeau in the first.

Kulda, who had 30 goals, 60 points and a plus-34 rating for the Oil Kings in the regular season, is No. 145 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of North American skaters. He has two goals and three points in three Memorial Cup games.


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