HOST RED DEER EDGED BY ROUYN-NORANDA IN MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP SEMI-FINAL
Red Deer, AB – The host Red Deer Rebels were eliminated from the 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup in the semi-final game on Friday night following a 3-1 loss at the hands of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.
The OHL (London Knights) and QMJHL representatives will meet on Sunday afternoon to determine the winner of the 98th MasterCard Memorial Cup. The WHL champion Brandon Wheat Kings exited the tournament after the round robin stage.
The Rebels outshot the Huskies 37-27 on Friday, but Chase Marchand turned aside all but one en route to being named the game’s first star. Rouyn-Noranda received goals from Francis Perron, Martins Dzierkals and Nikolas Brouillard to take a 3-0 lead by the 5:04 mark of the second period.
Team captain Luke Philp put the home side on the board at the 13:34 mark of the second, but the Rebels were unable to draw any closer.
The Rebels went 2-1 during the round robin stage of the event, defeating Brandon and Rouyn-Noranda in the process. Red Deer completed its run on the ice after returning the MasterCard Memorial Cup back to Alberta for the first time in 42 years. It was the second MasterCard Memorial Cup visit for the Rebels, winning the coveted prize in 2011. For the Wheat Kings, it was the fifth time in its WHL history that Brandon has made an appearance at the event.
The Red Deer Rebels see their season come to an end after a hard-working finish. Head coach Brent Sutter was proud of his team’s play following the loss.
“We played with this team tonight,” he said. “We made a couple mistakes in the first period that put us behind but we didn’t quit. We kept battling and we had some great opportunities, some quality scoring chances and I thought their goalie was the best player on the ice tonight.”
In the end, Marchand’s big saves and countless Rouyn-Noranda shot blocks would prove to be the recipe for success as the Huskies will play to hoist the Memorial Cup for the first time in franchise history on Sunday.
The Huskies will square off against a London Knights club that has been idle since Tuesday on Sunday afternoon at 2:30pm MT/1:30pm PT. The encounter marks the first time since the Guelph Platers defeated the Hull Olympiques 6-2 30 years ago in 1986 that the OHL and QMJHL champions will square off for the MasterCard Memorial Cup title on WHL ice.