Rockets pound Remparts 9-3 in wild game to advance to Memorial Cup final

QUEBEC — Justin Kirkland and Rourke Chartier each scored twice as the Kelowna Rockets downed the host Quebec Remparts 9-3 in the semifinal at the Memorial Cup on Friday night, a wild game that had two fights and a delay caused by debris thrown onto the ice by angry fans.

The Rockets advanced to the final against the Ontario Hockey League champion Oshawa Generals on Sunday night.


Leon Draisaitl, Josh Morrissey, Cole Linaker, Chance Briad and Tyson Baillie also scored for the Western Hockey league champions, who blew the game open with four second-period goals.

Adam Erne, Anthony Duclair and Dmytro Timashov replied for the Remparts, who were eliminated. Quebec was playing its third game in as many nights after splitting a pair of games with the Rimouski Oceanic while Kelowna had two days of rest. The Rockets outshot Quebec 44-23.

About 15 minutes into the second, fans rained cups, bottles, souvenir sticks and cardboard signs onto the ice when an obvious hit from behind on Jerome Verrier by Rockets captain Madison Bowey went uncalled, causing a five-minute delay.

Despite warnings over the PA system, at 16:38 a bag of popcorn came over the glass when Kelowna’s Dillon Dube was awarded a penalty shot after being tripped. Dube hit the post.

Erne opened the scoring at 3:11 when he blocked a Morrissey shot for a 2 on 1 break and beat Jackson Whistle between the pads.

Braid tied it with a shot into an open side at 9:31.

On a power play only 17 seconds into the middle period, Draisaitl burst down the left side and beat Zach Fucale. Then he fed Kirkland to deke Fucale for another with a man advantage at 3:23. Kirkland reached into a crowd and flipped a puck over Fucale’s pad at 4:06.

Morrissey whipped one to the top corner at 16:46

Duclair was left open to deke Whistle at the side of the net 21 seconds into the third, but Chartier finished at 2 on 1 at 2:17 and Linaker came out from behind the net to score at 2:54. Timashov and Baillie then traded power-play goals.

Quebec’s Yanick Turcotte got the wins in fights against Rodney Southam and Braid, but was ejected for taking a second major.

Members of the Remparts’ 1971 Memorial Cup squad, including Guy Lafleur, were feted before the game.

Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press