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BLOG: Draisaitl & Rockets advance to final

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers

Everyone knew the Kelowna Rockets had offensive firepower coming into the tournament and they flexed those muscles with a 9-3 win over Quebec on Friday, punching their ticket to the 2015 Memorial Cup Final against the Oshawa Generals on Sunday.

Adam Erne put Quebec up 1-0 at 3:11 of the opening period, but that was pretty much the high point of the game for them as Kelowna responded in a big way.

Chance Braid tied the game at 9:51 after some solid work in the offensive zone. He buried a pass from Tomas Soustal behind Quebec goaltender Zachary Fucale.

Oilers prospect Leon Draisaitl scored just 17 seconds into the second period, on the power play. The Rockets came up the ice with speed and Draisaitl took the puck to the net, firing a shot past Fucale.

Justin Kirkland took a nice pass from Draisaitl and worked the puck around the sprawling goaltender, potting another power play goal at 3:23 of the second.

The Rockets took a 4-1 lead with Kirkland’s second goal of the game at 4:06 of the middle frame.

Draisaitl nearly put Kelowna up by four just moments later with a shorthanded breakaway that was stopped by Fucale.

The Rockets did get that lead, however, when Josh Morissey fired a shot from the point and it found twine at 16:46. That score capped a four-goal period for Kelowna.

Late in the second, after a series of plays in which the home crowd felt the Remparts deserved a power play, fans in attendance littered the ice with various debris. No infractions were called against the crowd or Remparts.

If Quebec wanted any hope at getting back into the game they needed to start the third period fast and they did just that. Anthony Duclair scored just 21 seconds into the final frame.

Unfortunately for the Remparts, Kelowna responded with a little, “everything you can do I can do better.”

Tyson Baillie sauced a nice pass right on the tape of Rourke Chartier and he scored at 2:17 of the third for the 6-2 lead.

Cole Linaker’s backhander found its way past Fucale for the 7-2 lead at 2:54 of the third.

Quebec’s Dmytro Timashov scored on the power play with a little over 13 minutes remaining in the game to cut the lead back down to four. But, once again, the Rockets simply overpowered them.

Baillie pounced on a kick save by Fucale, on the power play, putting Kelowna up 8-3 at 13:26 of the third. Draisaitl recorded the second assist.

Draisaitl finished the game 15 of 25 on faceoffs with a goal, two assists and six shots on goal.

Chartier fired a shot through the glove side of Fucale at 14:48 of the final frame for the Rockets ninth goal.

With the Quebec loss, Oilers 2013 second-round pick Marc-Olivier Roy’s junior season comes to an end. Roy recorded five points (1-4-5) during the Memorial Cup tournament.

Draisaitl and the Rockets will attempt to defeat Oshawa for the Memorial Cup on Sunday, at 7 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. MDT.

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