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BLOG: Draisaitl named MVP, Rockets fall in final

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers

Anthony Cirelli scored both of Oshawa’s goals, leading the Generals to a 2-1 overtime victory over the Kelowna Rockets in the 2015 MasterCard Memorial Cup Final.

Tomas Soustal put Kelowna up 1-0 with 4:52 left in the opening frame, assisted by Madison Bowey and Cole Linaker. Soustal received the puck at the side of the net after a fortuitous bounce off the boards and buried the opportunity.

Armed with the lead and a power play to start the second period, the Rockets came out firing after the intermission. Kelowna dominated the start of the second, with Oilers prospect Leon Draisaitl having his fair share of chances. However, Oshawa goaltender Ken Appleby made a handful of top-end saves to keep the Generals in it.

Appleby finished the game with 37 saves.

With Appleby standing on his head, Oshawa was able to draw even with Kelowna at 13:50 of the middle frame. Cirelli picked the corner above the glove of Jackson Whistle for the equalizer. Dakota Mermis and Josh Brown earned assists on the goal.

With 10:05 left in the third period, Whistle made a huge save on Michael McCarron to keep the game tied. McCarron had the puck right out in front but couldn’t score on the diving netminder.

Nick Merkley had a breakaway with just over five minutes remaining but couldn’t get a good shot off to give Kelowna the lead.

In the game’s final minutes, Hunter Smith batted the puck in out of mid air to give Oshawa the 2-1 lead. However, after review, it was waved off due to a high stick.

The duelling goaltenders kept the puck out for the remainder of regulation forcing overtime.

Cirelli scored just 1:28 into overtime, from right on the doorstep, to lead Oshawa to a 2-1 victory and the 2015 MasterCard Memorial Cup championship.

Draisaitl finished the game winning 13 of his 29 faceoffs and registering six shots on goal. The 19-year-old centre recorded four goals and three assists during the tournament. He was awarded the Stafford Smythe Trophy as the Memorial Cup MVP. He also earned the Ed Chynoweth Trophy as the Memorial Cup's leading scorer.

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