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Kelowna Rockets vs. Quebec Remparts, Memorial Cup 2015: Time, TV schedule, preview and more

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Game 1 of the 2015 Memorial Cup. The host vs the unstoppable beast from out west.

KELOWNA, CANADA - NOVEMBER 21: Tyson Baillie #24 of Kelowna Rockets celebrates a goal against the Portland Winterhawks during the first period on November 21, 2014 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.
KELOWNA, CANADA - NOVEMBER 21: Tyson Baillie #24 of Kelowna Rockets celebrates a goal against the Portland Winterhawks during the first period on November 21, 2014 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.
Marissa Baecker/Getty Images

Game one of the second best spring hockey tournament (sorry world championships) is tonight. The host team Quebec Remparts will, uh, host, the WHL Champion Kelowna Rockets. Previewing a game like this is a bit rough since there's very little history between these two teams.

Kelowna Rockets at Quebec Remparts
7:30PM - Sportsnet, TVA, NHLNet

Since it's game 1 of the tournament there's not much to go on so here are the team summaries of season I did for the overall tournament preview:

Team Previews

Quebec Remparts
Tournament Host

Drafted Players: Zachary Fucale - G (MTL 2013), Cody Donaghey- D (TOR FA), Ryan Graves - D (NYR 2013), Anthony Duclair - LW (NYR 2013), Marc-Olivier Roy - C (EDM 2013), Adam Erne - LW (TB 2013)
2015 Draftees: Callum Booth - G, Giancarlo Fiori - D, Olivier Thibodeau - D, Dmytro Timashov - F
Season Leading Scorer: Dmytro Timashov - 66GP - 19G + 71A = 90Pts
Playoff Leading Scorer: Adam Erne - 22GP - 21G + 9A = 30Pts
Regular Season Record:40-25-1-2, 4th overall, 2nd in East Division

Regular Season: The Remparts came into the 2015 QMJHL season knowing expectations were high for the Memorial Cup hosts. In 2014 the London Knights went winless in the tournament and in 2013 the Saskatoon Blades barely made the playoffs, missing would have been a disaster for ticket sales and embarrass the WHL.

The Remparts were sold in November by Majority Owner Patrick Roy to Quebec media giant Quebecor for a price in the range of $20-25 million, a good investment for Roy who bought the Beauport Harfangs for $2million in 1997 and moved them to Quebec City. Yes, junior hockey teams reallycan't afford to pay their players.

The Remparts were a solid team all season and were given a late Christmas gift by the New York Rangers, who sent Anthony Duclair down following the World Jr Championships. Duclair had 7 points in 18 games for the Rangers, and boosted the Remparts by scoring 15 goals and assisting on 19 for 34 points in 26 games. The Remparts finished 4th overall to end the season.

Road to the Memorial Cup: The QMJHL seeds its teams 1-16 for the playoffs so the 4th place Remparts hosted the 13th place Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the first round.

This was a tight series and plenty of back and forth in games, but Quebec held on to the series despite a Cape Breton OT win to stay alive in game 6, and took round one in 7 games. The Remparts knew they'd have to ramp it up if they wanted to be seen as true contenders for the Memorial Cup, not a team that only got in by hosting.

They swept the Charlottetown Islanders in 4 and continued to dominate the maritimes by sweeping the Moncton Wildcats in the semi-finals.in the finals vs Rimouski the Remparts extended their playoff win streak to 11 by going up 2-0 in the series. Rimouski would take the next two and the final 3 games would all go to overtime, Quebec taking game 5, Rimouski taking game 6, and the Remparts would bow out in in double overtime in game 7 giving Rimouski the Presidents Trophy as QMJHL champions. Quebec's Adam Erne took the Guy Lafluer Trophy as QMJHL Playoff MVP

Kelowna Rockets
WHL Champions

Drafted Players: Mitchell Wheaton - D (DET 2013), Madison Bowey - D (WSH 2013), Myles Bell - LW (NJ 2013), Rourke Chartier - C (SJ 2014), Leon Draisaitl - C (EDM 2014), Tyrell Goulbourne - C (PHI 2013)
2015 Draftees: Tyson Baillie - C, Joe Gatenby - D, Justin Kirkland- LW, Nick Merkley - C, Riley Stadel - D
Season Leading Scorer: Nick Merkley - 72 GP - 20G + 70A = 90Pts
Playoffs Leading Scorer: Leon Draisaitl - 19 GP - 10G + 18A = 28 Pts
Regular Season Record: 53-13-5-1, 1st in Western Conference, 2nd Overall

Regular Season: The Rockets began the 2014-2015 season with a rookie head coach in Dan Lambert. Expectations weren't high for the newbie behind the bench but Rockets management had set him up for success with an All-Star roster in front of him. Kelowna kicked off the season with a 10 game winning streak and never lost more than 2 games in a row all season.

A dominant force in the WHL became even stronger when Leon Draisaitl was sent down in January from NHL Edmonton Oilers. The rich got richer as Leon added 19 goals and 34 assist for 53 points in just 32 games. The Rockets rode their success to the top of the West in the WHL, finishing just 2 points back of Brandon Wheat Kings, who had two more OT losses than Kelowna.

Road to the Memorial Cup: The Rockets jumped out of the gate facing the Tri-City Americans and swept them easily in four games out scoring the opponents 19-7. In round two the took a 3 game lead when the Victoria Royals ended the Rockets 7 game win streak with a game 4 overtime victory. The Rockets took offense to this and blew out the Royals 7-3 in game 5 for the series win.

The Portland Winterhawks presented more of a challenge to Kelowna, taking a 2-1 series lead after 3 games in the Western Final.

Kelowna won game 4 and 5, but took a serious loss to their roster when Tyrell Goulbourne was cut by a skate in a collision with a Portland player. Goulbourne had surgery after the game, but will not be playing in the Memorial Cup and the overager's WHL career has ended. the Rockets rallied and took game 6 of the Western Final 8-4 and were ready to face what should have been their best opponent yet, WHL regular season leader Brandon Wheat Kings. it wasn't. Kelowna swept the Wheat Kigns and took the Ed Chynoweth Cup on home ice.

Memorial Cup History

Kelowna has participated in four other Memorial Cup tournaments, and the second generation of Quebec Remparts have been in two. Both of these teams participated in the 2003 tournament in Quebec City (none of the current players were involved, since they were all just entering elementary school at the time), where the host Remparts placed last in the round robin and Kelowna lost the semi-final to Hull (Kitchener would win the Memorial Cup that year). Kelowna won the round robin game between the two that year, 3-2.

Kelowna's past Memorial Cup participation has been Champion as host in 2004, last place as WHL champion in 2005, and second place as WHL Champion in 2009.

The Remparts other tournament finish was Champion as QMJHL Champion in 2006.

Media Coverage

In Canada you can watch the game on Sportsnet East, Ontario, West, and Pacific in English and on TVA Sports in French. Sportsnets junior hockey coverage is better than it's NHL stuff with Jeff Marek hosting, someone who is passionate and a big fan of the game. Oh, and they have Damien Cox, but he seems to say less stupid things here than he does about the NHL.

In the United States you can watch on the NHL Network and anyone can stream games online (fee) at NeuLion

As I said in the tournament preview, on paper we should be expecting a fantastic game each night as these four teams are the best from their respective leagues. Opening night has some ceremony to it, so you can probably be forgiven for tuning in 10 minutes late. The crowd should be excellent, and a little biased towards the Remparts, especially with Kelowna being found on the opposite side of the country. Enjoy the game everybody!