Memorial Cup: Oshawa Punches Ticket to Final

Oshawa shuts down Kelowna 2 – 1 at the Memorial Cup –

The Kelowna Rockets found out what happened to Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters when they faced the Oshawa Generals last night in Memorial Cup action. For the most part of two periods, they were at the mercy of the suffocating style of play the Generals employ.

The Generals seemed to be in control going late into the second period with goals from Cole Cassels (drafted by Vancouver) and Tobias Lindberg (drafted by Ottawa).  In the last three minutes of the second period, Kelowna finally broke through with Gage Quinney finally scoring their first goal.

In the third period, Kelowna started to skate better and put more pressure on Oshawa and with the help of a couple of penalties by Oshawa late in the period they came really close to tying the game.  Rourke Chartier (drafted by San Jose) had multiple chances to tie it as did Nick Merkley (draft eligible).  Oshawa’s goalie Ken Appleby played a strong game and shut the door for the win.  Now they wait four days to see who they will play on Sunday.

Nick Merkley2

NIck Merkley’s stock is rising at the 2015 Memorial Cup

Make no mistake, this Generals team not only plays good defense but can skate and score goals with the best of teams in this tournament.  They are a big physical team that can make life miserable for you trying to break them down. The two towers, Michael McCarron (Montreal) and Hunter Smith (Calgary), are very effective players who can skate and score the big goals.  I haven’t seen McCarron play better and could be the power forward that Montreal has wanted for years.

When I watched these two teams, I see many NHL teams reaping the benefits of their drafted players.  I really was impressed with the play of Cole Cassels, Tobias Lindberg, Michael McCarron, Hunter Smith, Madison Bowie, Josh Morrissey and Rourke Chartier to name a few.

If Nick Merkley is available at pick #17 in the 2015 NHL Entry draft, I would hope the Jets take him.  I always wondered if he could take the physical play because of his size and he showed me last night there was no problem in that department.  He’s a very skilled, opportunist type of player who can score big goals that I can see having success in the NHL.  With his play at this years Memorial Cup tournament, it will be difficult to say if he will available after pick #15.

Another player who is draft eligible for Kelowna is Gage Quinney who has four goals in the tournament so far.  One player who impressed me from Kelowna is 16-year-old Dillon Dube who didn’t look out-of-place playing with the older players.  Who knows where his hockey development will be in two years?

Two really good teams put on a show last night and it will be interesting to see if Kelowna can get a rematch game for the Memorial Cup trophy on Sunday.



  1. Mitch Kasprick says

    Conrats George on your first post at WHT … Well done … I agree with you about Merkley …. he might be gone before the Jets pick.

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