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Game 2 Preview – Oil Kings vs. Cataractes – WHL Network

Saint John, NB – For the first time since winning in 2014, the Edmonton Oil Kings return to the Memorial Cup stage Tuesday night when they take on QMJHL champion Shawinigan Cataractes.

Culminating an electrifying six-game triumph in the 2022 WHL Championship Series, the Oil Kings went on a quest to claim the franchise’s second Memorial Cup title in three appearances in modern franchise history.

Edmonton finished the 2022 WHL playoffs with a 16-3 record and won the Ed Chynoweth Cup for the third time in the past decade. In fact, only one team (the 2006 Vancouver Giants, 16-2) has gone through a championship run with fewer losses than Edmonton since the WHL switched to a 16-team playoff format in 2002.

Five of those wins came by shutout, the 38 goals Edmonton conceded during its streak to the WHL Championship was the fewest of any three league champions participating in the 2022 Kia-presented Memorial Cup.

“It’s amazing – I just missed an opportunity in 2019 (to advance to the Memorial Cup with the Vancouver Giants). Being here and participating with my teammates is something I will never forget for the rest of my life,” said Oil Kings forward Justin Sourdif. “I’m just trying to soak it all up.”

The Oil Kings have the most NHL prospects in the tournament with eight, including Sourdif, who is a Florida Panthers prospect. He was acquired by the Vancouver Giants in a blockbuster trade in the final moments of the January 17th WHL trade deadline.

Sourdif has made his influence well known, contributing 14 points (5G-9A) in 19 postseason competitions after scoring 39 points (17G-22A) in 28 regular season appearances at the Edmonton touchdown.

Alongside Sourdif, the Oil Kings are led by WHL playoffs MVP Kaiden Guhle and captain Jake Neighbors, who have prospects for the Montreal Canadiens and St. Louis Blues, respectively. On the other hand, the Oil Kings will be looking to unify a quality Cataractes roster leaning on players like Dallas Stars’ Mavrik Bourque and Edmonton Oilers’ Xavier Bourgault.

“We have to play them hard, give them time and space,” said Guhle. “They are good players so if we play hard against them we should be fine.”

Bourque was presented with the Guy Lafleur Trophy as the QMJHL playoff MVP and led the Cataractes with 25 points in 16 games.

Bourgault finished just behind Bourque in the team standings, amassing 22 points in 16 games.

“(Includes Bourque and Bourgault) will be with our defense in our matchups,” said Oil Kings head coach Brad Lauer. “It’s going to be a game where there’s an emotional process in the first five or ten minutes. We’ll see how it goes and what adjustments we need to make.

“Right now it’s all about getting the right D against the right guys.”

The Cataractes achieved the Memorial Cup by winning the President’s Cup, which is awarded annually to the playoff champions of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The 2022 title run is the first of its kind in the 53-year history of the Cataractes.

Shawinigan ended the postseason with a 13-3 record, including a five-game win over the Charlottetown Islanders in the Championship Series.

“(Shawinigan) is a very structured team, they have very good skills up front,” Sourdif said. “They will try to use that as best as possible. They also have a very good power play so we have to be prepared for that.”

Interestingly, the Cataractes have previously won the Memorial Cup and lifted the prestigious trophy in 2012, emerging victorious as the tournament hosts.

The Oil Kings and Cataractes have met twice in Memorial Cup history after splitting the two games they played in 2012.

The current generation of Edmonton and Shawinigan skaters haven’t met in CHL competition, but ties still exist, including Oil Kings captain Jake Neighbors and Cataractes forward Mavrik Bourque.

“I got to know him pretty well, we were roommates at World Juniors recently,” Neighbors said Tuesday of his QMJHL counterpart, “we’ve become good friends, it’s going to be cool playing him out there, but at the end of the day there are no friends in this business, we have to go out and hit them.”

how to watch
Game 2 of the 2022 Memorial Cup presented by Kia can be seen in Canada on TSN 1 and TSN 5. In the United States, fans can watch live on the NHL Network. Viewers outside of North America can stream the game on CHL TV.

Edmonton Oil Kings
50-14-0-4
295 GF, 182 GA
Ed Chynoweth Cup Winner

Top Scorers (WHL Playoffs)
C Dylan Gunther – 16GP – 13G-8A – 21 points
LW Carter Souch – 19GP – 12G-9A – 21 points
C Jakub Demek – 19GP – 5G-12A – 17 points
LW Jake Neighbors – 19 GP – 3G-14A – 17 points
D Kaiden Guhle – 19G – 8G-8A – 16 points

Top Goaltenders (WHL Playoffs)
G Sebastian Cossa 19GP, 16-3, 5 SO, 1.93 GAA, 0.919SV%

Shawinigan cataracts
40-24-0-4, 84 points
235GF, 190GA
Presidents Cup Champions

Top Scorers (QMJHL Playoffs)
C Mavrik Bourque – 16GP – 9G-16A – 25pts
RW Xavier Bourgault – 16GP – 12G-10A – 22 points
RW Pierrick Dube – 16GP – 12G-6A – 18 points
RW Olivier Nadeau – 16GP – 4G-12A – 16 points
D Zachary Massicotte – 15GP – 1G-9A – 10 points

Best Goaltender (QMJHL Playoffs)
G Antoine Coulombe – 13GP, 9-3, 2SO, 2.44GAA, 0.921SV%

2022 Memorial Cup presented by Kia – Roundup
Host Saint John Sea Dogs opened Monday night’s tournament with a bang, scoring a 5-3 win over OHL champion Hamilton Bulldogs.

Center Philippe Daoust was named the game’s first star after providing three assists for the Sea Dogs, while center Ryan Francis enjoyed his own three-pointer night by scoring two goals and adding an assist. New York Islanders’ William Dufour and Calgary Flames’ Yan Kuznetsov also scored for Saint John.

It was Seattle Kraken prospect Ryan Winterton with a pair and Avery Hayes answering for Hamilton.

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