The Kelowna Rockets and Oshawa Generals battle for the Memorial Cup tonight in what promises to be an exciting end to the tournament. Both teams have been strong throughout and have continued their regular-season excellence. This would be just the second Memorial Cup win for the Rockets, who won it in 2004; the Generals have won the Memorial Cup five times before, although their most recent win was in 1990.
The Rockets have the Memorial Cup's two leading scorers on their top line, Leon Draisaitl (7 points) and Nicholas Merkley (5 points). Their offense has been explosive all tournament long: the Rockets beat the Rimouski Oceanic 7-3 in the round robin, and demolished the Quebec Remparts 9-3 in the semifinal. While they haven't always had that offensive success - in their game against Oshawa in the round robin, the Rockets managed only one goal - their possession numbers have been strong all tournament.
The Generals, on the other hand, are known for their excellent defense. They've only allowed 8 goals in their 3 games in the tournament. They've also won all three games, earning a spot in the final by default. And despite their low-scoring, defensively tight games, the Generals have frequently dominated possession. They play a strong system that keeps the puck away from their opponents by never letting go.
In their round robin matchup, the Generals beat the Rockets 2-1. Shots were fairly even - 29-21 Generals - but play was controlled by Oshawa through most of the first two periods. The strong play of Rockets goalie Jackson Whistle kept the score from being more lopsided. Check out our recap of that game for more insight into how the two teams performed against each other.
Judging by their previous matchup, this game should be fairly close throughout. Will the Rockets break through the Generals' defense and run up the score? Or will the Generals stifle the Rockets' offensive power?
The game starts at 7 pm ET and can be seen on Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada and on the NHL Network in the US.