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Red Deer loses 6-2 to London in Memorial Cup action

London Knights' Chris Martenet, right, chses down Red Deer Rebels' Grayson Pawlenchuk during third period CHL Memorial Cup hockey action in Red Deer, Friday, May 20, 2016.
London Knights' Chris Martenet, right, chses down Red Deer Rebels' Grayson Pawlenchuk during third period CHL Memorial Cup hockey action in Red Deer, Friday, May 20, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

RED DEER, Alta. – Mitch Marner had two goals and three assists as the London Knights beat the host Red Deer Rebels 6-2 on Friday to kick off the 2016 Memorial Cup.

Marner’s line was unstoppable all game and scored with ease. Christian Dvorak had two goals and two assists while Matthew Tkachuk chipped in with an assist.

Aaron Berisha and Victor Mete also scored for the Knights, who are on a 14-game win streak including the Ontario Hockey League playoffs. Defenceman Olli Juolevi added two assists.

Tyler Parsons made 30 saves for the win.

Luke Philp and Adam Helewka scored for the Rebels. Rylan Toth stopped 30-of-36 shots in a losing cause.

London went 2 for 4 on the power play while Red Deer scored once on three chances with the man advantage.

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The 19-year-old Marner entered the Memorial Cup on a 16-game point streak and was named the OHL playoff MVP after producing 44 points in 18 games.

Red Deer came out strong and competed for the first half of the first period, but London scored three times in a 4:40 span to put the Rebels in a hole they could never dig themselves out of.

READ MORE: Rebels are not for sale; Brent Sutter forced to ‘squash’ rumours ahead of Memorial Cup

Berisha opened the scoring on the power play at 13:51 from in front of the net. Then, Dvorak added back-to-back goals by the 18:39 mark, both coming from nearly the same spot on the ice near the slot.

The Knights kept up the pressure to open the second and Marner was found alone by Dvorak at 13:41.

Mete made it 5-0 at 16:59 and Marner added another at 18:45.

The Rebels finally beat Parsons in the final minute of the second when Philp tipped in a Colton Bobyk point shot.

Red Deer led 8-2 in shots midway through the first, but the Knights took control and were ahead 28-17 after 40 minutes.

Helewka one-timed a feed from Haydn Fleury midway through the third on a power play to make it 6-2 and Michael Spacek nearly added another right after, but was turned away by a sprawled out Parsons.

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Red Deer thought it had another with 2:02 to play when the goal light went on, but the puck went off Parsons pad and hit the post.

READ MORE: Brandon Wheat Kings off to the Memorial Cup

Notes: Red Deer’s Conner Bleackley returned to action after missing the entire WHL playoffs with a wrist injury suffered in March… Enmax Centrium had a sellout crowd of 7,000 on hand… The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies face the Brandon Wheat Kings on Saturday.