Appleby sends Generals into Memorial Cup final
The Oshawa Generals are headed to the Memorial Cup final and they can thank their goaltender, Ken Appleby, for that.
The Ontario Hockey League champions, who beat the Connor McDavid-led Erie Otters in the OHL final to punch their ticket as the OHL reps, kept their perfect record at the four-team tournament intact, edging the WHL champion Kelowna Rockets 2-1 Tuesday night, May 26.
It was both teams final round robin game at the 2015 Memorial Cup in Quebec.
Cole Cassels opened the game’s scoring with a tally at the 4:15 mark, assisted by Dakota Mermis and Michael Dal Colle.
With 2:44 left, Tobias Lindberg would turn the red light on to make it 2-0, but the Rockets then started to mount a comeback with a goal of their own less than a minute later. Sam Harding and Anthony Cirelli picked up assists on the marker.
Gage Quinney took a feed from Tyson Baillie and put it through the wickets of Oshawa goalie Ken Appleby to make it a one goal game, but that’s as close as the Rockets could come. Madison Bowey also chipped in with an assist on the goal.
The Generals outshot the Rockets 21-10 after 40 minutes, dominating the bulk of the play through the first two periods.
As the final minutes clicked off, the Rockets pressured getting several chances including one with Appleby out of position and the right side of the net wide open, but the puck was shot wide and careened off the boards.
Appleby would then come up with a pair of big saves off Edmonton Oiler prospect Leon Draisaitl, who had the tying goal on his stick, but couldn’t get the puck to find its way to the back of the net.
Kelowna netminder Jackson Whistle turned away 27 of the 29 shots he faced in getting tagged with the loss. Meanwhile, Appleby stopped 20 of 21 in the win.
Before the game, a short ceremony was held honouring former Remparts coach and current Colorado Avalanche bench boss Patrick Roy. He saw his number raised to the rafters at the Pepsi Colisee. Roy received a three minute standing ovation.
The Memorial Cup round robin wraps up with an all-QMJHL game on Wednesday night as the champion Rimouski Oceanic and host Remparts take on each other. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. Eastern, 8:30 p.m. Atlantic and 9 p.m. in Newfoundland.