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Dowzak, Kelowna win Memorial Cup opener

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Rangers prospect Tysen Dowzak is off to a strong start with his Kelowna Rockets teammates at the 2009 Memorial Cup Tournament in Rimouski, Quebec.

Tysen Dowzak
Kelowna, the WHL champion, beat the houst Rimouski team in its tournament opener on Friday night and will face QMJHL champion Drummondville tonight at 7 p.m. Should the Rockets win tonight and then again on Tuesday vs. OHL champ Windsor, they would enter the semifinals as the top seed later this week.

Dowzak had a strong opening game in the win over Rimouski on Friday. The stay-at-home defenseman managed to contribute the primary assist on the tournament's first goal, scored by defense partner Tyler Myers at 6:33 of the opening period. Kelowna went on to score twice in the second and once in the third, opening up a 4-0 lead en route to a 4-1 win over the Oceanic.

Dowzak, who signed with the Rangers as a free agent last October, also took a boarding penalty late in the second period. He is the first Rangers prospect to compete for the Memorial Cup since fellow defenseman Mike Sauer in 2007. The only current Rangers player to have won the top prize for major-junior hockey is Dan Girardi, as a member of the London Knights in 2005.

The Memorial Cup is the oldest major amateur hockey trophy in North America, dating back to 1919. Only the Stanley Cup itself has been awarded longer than the Memorial Cup, which is being televised nationally on the NHL Network and has been a launching pad for some of the biggest names in hockey.
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