Rouyn-Noranda Huskies to play for 1st Memorial Cup after defeating Red Deer Rebels
Will play OHL champion London Knights in final
The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies have earned their place in the 2016 Memorial Cup final.
Francis Perron had a goal and an assist as Rouyn-Noranda downed the host Red Deer Rebels 3-1 on Friday in the tournament semifinal.
The Huskies will be playing for their first Memorial Cup and face the OHL champion London Knights, who went undefeated in the round robin en route to a direct berth in the championship game.
Martins Dzierkals and Nikolas Brouillard also scored for the Huskies while Timo Meier chipped in with two assists.
Luke Philp scored for the Rebels.
Chase Marchand made 36 saves for the win as Rylan Toth stopped 24-of-27 shots in a losing cause.
Rouyn-Noranda went two for four on the power play while Red Deer scored once on three chances with the man advantage.
Jean-Christophe Beaudin got the first quality scoring chance of the game, but Toth was square to the shooter and made the stop with ease.
The pace was quick through the opening five minutes of the game and shortly after Beaudin was stopped, Marchand had to come up big for Rouyn-Noranda on Jeff de Wit, who was open in the slot.
Perron opened the scoring with nine minutes and nine seconds to play in the first period, one-timing a shot blocker side on Toth from the top of the face-off circle while on the power play.
Dzierkals made it 2-0 for the Huskies just over a minute later. The Latvian-born winger took the puck from the corner, skated out front and lifted a backhand past Toth with eight minutes and two seconds in the period.
Luke Philp had a great chance to cut Rouyn-Noranda's lead in half with five to play in the first, but had the puck roll off his stick after getting Marchand to bite on a deke.
Shots were 15-11 Huskies after 20 minutes.
The Rebels came out with more jump than their opposition to start the second, but Josh Mahura took an interference penalty in his own end and the Huskies made them pay.
Brouillard was able to squeeze a wrist shot from the point past a screened Toth 4:04 into the period to make it 3-0.
Red Deer finally got on the board while up a man when Philp banged in a rebound from the side of the net at 13 minutes and 34 seconds. The goal re-ignited his team and they kept up the pressure the rest of the period. Marchand had to come up big twice in the final minute, with the Rebels outshooting the Huskies 15-to-six in the second.
Red Deer's Grayson Pawlenchuk was handed a cross-checking penalty early in the third period that the 7,562 on hand at the Enmax Centrium disagreed with. And their boos became even louder when Kayle Doetzel was called for hooking with 11 minutes and 12 seconds to play.
Adam Musil had a glorious chance to score shorthanded but deked himself out when trying to fool Marchand.
The hometown crowd chanted for the final three minutes of the game, but Red Deer couldn't overcome the QMJHL champions.
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