Michael McCarron and the Oshawa Generals are 2015 Memorial Cup champions.
After a slow start on Sunday, the Generals bounced back to start the second period, tying the game at one goal apiece in the middle frame before Anthony Cirelli scored the game winner to defeat the Kelowna Rockets in overtime.
Although McCarron was held scoreless in the final, he made his presence felt physically, dishing out six hits over the course of the evening as well as nearly finding the winner himself midway through the third.
For a moment it looked like extra time would not be needed after Hunter Smith appeared to score late in the third, but the would-be go-ahead goal was eventually waved off for a high stick.
The Canadiens’ first-round pick in 2013, McCarron made his second career Memorial Cup appearance in Quebec City, following last year’s participation with the London Knights.
QUEBEC CITY – Zachary Fucale’s bid for a second Memorial Cup championship in the last four years fell one game short of the 2015 final on Friday.
|Crédit photo: Aaron Bell/CHL Images|
Playing a third game in as many nights at this year’s tournament in Quebec City, Fucale and the Quebec Remparts were bested 9-3 by the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets in the semifinal round.
Although the hosts looked sharp in the first – Fucale notably stopped 13 of 14 shots in a busy opening frame while the Remparts jumped out to an early 1-0 lead – the Rockets were eventually able to take advantage of a fatigued Quebec squad, exploding with a pair of four-goal periods in the second and third to put the game out of reach.
“There was no gas left in the tank, and I’m not saying that as an excuse. We were drained,” admitted Quebec head coach Philippe Boucher. “Three games in three nights – this time against the Western champions – was just too much for us.”
Despite the difficult outing, the Canadiens’ 2013 draft pick never called it quits between the pipes, facing another 44 shots on the night in a tournament in which he had already seen more than his fair share of action.
“Early in the third I asked him personally if he wanted to stay on the ice, and I had [his teammate] Raphael Maheux ask him a second time,” continued Boucher. “I’m not surprised [by his decision]. He wanted to finish his Junior career on the ice, and I respect that.”
Coming off a tough loss to end his 2015 season – and possibly his time in the Junior ranks – at home a day after celebrating his 20th birthday, Fucale meanwhile wasn’t quite ready to start sharing his thoughts on any longer-term decisions, such as where he might be playing this fall.
“That’s not something I’m thinking about right now,” underlined the four-year QMJHL veteran. “The game ended 20 minutes ago, so I’m going to take a break before I start thinking about what’s next.”
What was clear however, was that even if the Laval, QC native’s year didn’t end on a high note, the promising young netminder can continue to keep his head up high moving forward.
“Overall we had a very good season. We took Rimouski to seven games in the QMJHL final, and I think we earned the right to be at the Memorial Cup," concluded Fucale, who also won gold at home with Canada at the 2015 World Junior Championships in January. "Yesterday we beat Rimouski in the tiebreaker (to reach the semifinal round) and I think that as a team we should be proud of the season we had.”
|Zachary Fucale (Aaron Bell - CHL Images)
Twenty-four hours after being shut out by the Rimouski Oceanic, Zachary Fucale and the Quebec Remparts took their revenge over their provincial rivals in the tie-breaking match-up on Thursday night, skating away with a 5-2 win to earn a spot in the Memorial Cup semifinal.
After allowing four goals on Wednesday before being replaced midway through the evening, Fucale bounced back in brilliant fashion the next night, kicking aside 30 of the 32 shots he faced on Thursday, which also marked the Remparts netminder’s 20th birthday.
Quebec won’t have much time to relax after the win as they get set to play a third game in as many nights. They’ll face off against the Kelowna Rockets on Friday, with the winner punching their ticket to the Memorial Cup Final against Michael McCarron and the Oshawa Generals. In their tournament-opening tilt one week ago, the Remparts defeated the Rockets 4-3.
|Zachary Fucale (Aaron Bell - CHL Images)|
QUEBEC CITY - It was a tough night for Zachary Fucale and the Quebec Remparts on Wednesday against the Rimouski Oceanic at the Colisée Pepsi. The hosts of the 2015 Memorial Cup tournament fell 4-0 to their provincial rivals, forcing the two teams to meet again in Thursday's tiebreaker.
Despite numerous Quebec scoring chances early in the first period, Rimouski was the more opportunistic of the two teams, getting on the board first and taking control of the game. As has been the case since the start of the tournament, Fucale was once again tested early and often on Wednesday, facing 25 shots in just over 32 minutes of play. Following the Oceanic’s fourth goal at the midway point of the game however, Remparts head coach Philippe Boucher pulled his starting netminder in favor of Callum Booth.
The Canadiens’ second round pick in 2013 won’t have to wait long to put Wednesday’s result behind him, as Quebec and Rimouski will now meet again for the 17th time this season in Thursday’s tiebreaker. The winner of the tournament’s first elimination round will then go on to face the Kelowna Rockets in Friday’s semifinal.
Michael McCarron and the Oshawa Generals clinched a spot in the Memorial Cup final on Tuesday night with a 2-1 win over the Kelowna Rockets at the Colisee Pepsi.
McCarron failed to register a point for the first time during the tournament, but he still came close to scoring in the latter stages of the first period. While his shot beat Rockets goaltender Jackson Whistle between the legs, it ultimately hit the goal post. The 20-year-old centreman finished the night with a minus-1 differential, registering two shots on goal, dishing out three hits and winning nine of the 20 draws he took.
McCarron was also used in a crucial defensive role during the game, taking to the ice while the Generals were trying to kill off a 5-on-3 situation at the end of the game in order to protect a one-goal lead.
“[Coach] has been using me in those situations all year, especially in those defensive situations to win some faceoffs,” offered McCarron. “Unfortunately, I didn’t win that one, but I thought I did a good job working with our defenseman and getting in the passing lanes. I know they had some good chances. I think we were right in their kitchen a little bit too much and they couldn’t get a shot on net.”
The Generals will now enjoy a four-day break before vying for the Memorial Cup title. Their opponent will be determined during the semi-final on Friday night.
“I love that we have four days off before the finals,” concluded McCarron. “Everybody in there is a little bit banged up and needs a little bit of extra rest. This is going to help us for sure.”
In the much anticipated tilt between two of the Canadiens’ top prospects at the Memorial Cup, Michael McCarron’s Oshawa Generals bested Zachary Fucale and the Quebec Remparts by a score of 5-4 in overtime on Sunday at the Colisee Pepsi.
McCarron got things off to a strong start for Oshawa, tipping a shot past Fucale less than three minutes into the opening frame. The towering pivot then picked up a second point by collecting an assist on the Generals’ second tally of the night to up his Memorial Cup point haul to three, one behind tournament leader Michael Dal Colle, who also dons an Oshawa jersey.
Even though he came out on the wrong side of the scoresheet, Fucale was outstanding between the pipes in just over 78 minutes of play. The Canadiens’ second-round selection in 2013 faced a total of 50 shots, including 18 in overtime alone. The deciding goal ultimately came at the 18:07 mark of the first overtime period.
By securing their second win of the tournament, the Generals have assured themselves of a spot in the semi-final, and they can lock up a spot in the championship game if they down the Kelowna Rockets on Tuesday night.
For his part, Fucale will enjoy a two-day break before the Remparts take on the Rimouski Oceanic on Wednesday.
|Michael McCarron (Mathieu Bélanger - Getty Images)
Despite spotting Rimouski an early two-goal lead, Michael McCarron and the Oshawa Generals bested the Oceanic 4-3 on Saturday, during the second day of Memorial Cup action from Quebec City.
The Canadiens' second-round pick in 2013 had a busy afternoon, setting up the Generals' first goal while also dropping the gloves in the second period opposite Samuel Morin. The imposing center was also excellent in the faceoff circle, winning 10 of his 16 draws, in addition to firing four shots on goal and leading his teammates in the hits column.
McCarron won't have to wait long to return to action, set to face off against fellow 2013 Canadiens draft pick Zachary Fucale and his Quebec Remparts on Sunday evening.
|Zachary Fucale (Aaron Bell - CHL Images)|
The Memorial Cup got underway on Friday night as the Kelowna Rockets battled the host Quebec Remparts.
Canadiens prospect Zachary Fucale was between the pipes for Quebec, pacing the Remparts to a 4-3 win in the tournament opener.
Fucale was particularly good during the middle portion of the second period, making back-to-back stops on Kelowna forwards. Of the three goals Fucale gave up, two were tallied while the Remparts found themselves in short-handed situations. The former second-round selection stopped 25 shots on the night to pick up the victory.
Quebec will be back in action on Sunday as they go up against the Oshawa Generals and Michael McCarron at 4:30 p.m. EST.
MONTREAL -- Jacob de la Rose underwent wrist surgery on Wednesday at Montreal General Hospital.
His recovery is expected to be three months.