Rychel scores twice for Guelph in 5-2 win over Edmonton at Memorial Cup
LONDON, Ont. – Kerby Rychel and Tyler Bertuzzi each scored twice in the Guelph Storm’s 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oil Kings on Saturday at the Memorial Cup.
Brock McGinn also contributed a goal and defenceman Nick Ebert had two assists for the Ontario Hockey League champions. Storm goalie Justin Nichols made 37 saves for the win.
Henrik Samuelsson and Ashton Sautner replied for the Oil Kings, who won this year’s Western Hockey League title. Edmonton goalie Tristan Jarry stopped 27 shots in the loss.
The Oil Kings play their second game in as many days when they face the host London Knights on Sunday.
The Knights opened the tournament with a 1-0 loss to the Val-d’Or Foreurs. The Storm face Val-d’Or on Monday.
The Memorial Cup has been handed out to Canadian junior hockey champions since 1919 and awarded in memory of those who died in the First World War.
The tournament includes the Western, Ontario and Quebec major junior league champion as well as a host team.
The club with the best record after the preliminary round earns a bye to the final May 25. The second- and third-place teams meet in the semifinal May 23. A tiebreaker game will be played in the event two teams tie for third.
The Guelph Storm are making their fifth appearance at the Memorial Cup in their 23-year history and looking for their first title.
WATCH: The OHL Champion Guelph Storm prepare for the Memorial Cup
The Oil Kings are at the Cup for a second time in three years. Edmonton lost in a tiebreaker to the host and eventual champion Shawinigan Cataractes in 2012.
The Storm were the highest-scoring major junior team in Canada with 340 goals in the regular season.
McGinn provided the go-ahead goal for Guelph at 15:52 of the second period when he took a drop pass from defenceman Nick Ebert and beat Jarry top shelf with a wrist shot.
Bertuzzi padded Guelph’s lead with a pair of third-period goals. The nephew of Detroit Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi took three strides in from the blue-line and rifled the puck over Jarry’s glove at 15:49. Bertuzzi rushed the puck out of Guelph’s end and scored from the high slot on a wrist shot at 5:46.
Guelph tied the game on an Edmonton gaffe at 7:40 of the second.
Left-winger Mads Eller attempted to clear the puck down the ice, but it deflected off Rychel and into the Oil Kings net for Rychel’s second power-play goal of the game.
It was a rough day for the Eller brothers. Although Lars Eller scored for the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of their NHL Eastern Conference final, the Habs were drubbed 7-2 by the New York Rangers at the Bell Centre.
Trailing 1-0 after the opening period, the Oil Kings scored twice in a 27-second span starting at 1:19.
Nichols didn’t close off the right side of his net when Samuelsson beat him with an off-speed backhand to tie the game. Samuelsson is the son of former NHL defenceman and current New York Rangers assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson.
Sautner took a Curtis Lazar pass from the boards and scored from the slot at 1:46 to give Edmonton a temporary lead.
Guelph outchanced the Oil Kings early in the game, but opened the scoring with just four seconds left in the first period.
Rychel, a first-round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets, snagged a rebound on Zac Leslie’s shot from the point and beat Jarry high stick-side for a power-play goal.
He’s the son of former NHL left-winger and Windsor Spitfires general manager Warren Rychel, who traded his son to Guelph in December.
Edmonton winger Ryan Horvat and Guelph defenceman Blake Orban gave the tournament its first fight early in the first period.