Rimouski, QC – The WHL Champion Kelowna Rockets scored four unanswered goals to win the opening game of the 2009 MasterCard Memorial Cup with a 4-1 victory Friday night over the host Rimouski Oceanic.
Jamie Benn scored one goal and two assists and led a relentless Rockets offense that outshot the Oceanic 42-20 in front of a loud and enthusiastic opening game crowd of 4,695 fans.
Defenceman Tyler Myers opened the tournament scoring at 6:33 of the first period on a point shot past a screened Maxim Gougeon who played extremely well facing constant pressure and making 38 saves as third star of the game. Myers added two assists and played a very physical game from the point as second star of the contest.
Leading 1-0 after the first period, the Rockets extended their lead when Benn found the empty cage with a power play marker at 4:33 of the second period. The lead was quickly extended when Ian Duval received a stretch pass behind the Oceanic defence and roofed a breakaway shot at 5:52 of the second to make the game 3-0 in favour of the Rockets.
Evan Bloodoff made it 4-0 at 1:29 of the third period. The Rockets shut down the Oceanic for most of the game with limited scoring opportunities until Philippe Cornet energized the crowd at 13:04 to put the home side on the scoreboard with help from Kevin Veilleux and captain Olivier Fortier.
Rockets’ goaltender Mark Guggenberger made 19 saves in the win.
The Oceanic wore commemorative jerseys to open the tournament in honour of the Canadian Forces. The game-worn jerseys are available for purchase through a live ebay auction. Click here to visit the auction site.
The Rockets (1-0) rest until Monday at 7:00 pm before facing off against the Drummondville Voltigeurs while the Oceanic (0-1) return to the ice Sunday against the Windsor Spitfires at 4:30 pm. The Voltigeurs and Spitfires play their first game of the tournament Saturday at 4:30 pm in a game that can be seen live on Rogers Sportsnet and RDS.