RIMOUSKI, Que. – Jamie Benn scored four times, including the game-tying and game-winning goals in the third period as the Kelowna Rockets booked their ticket to the final of the MasterCard Memorial Cup with a 6-4 victory over the Drummondville Voltigeurs on Monday night.
Benn also had an assist for the Rockets (2-0), who clinched first place in the round robin portion of the tournament and a spot in the championship game on Sunday. Drummondville dropped to 1-1.
Benn, a Dallas Stars prospect, scored short-handed, on the power play and twice at even strength. He also set up the first of two goals by Cody Almond to give him eight points in two tournament games. Colin Long and Tyson Barrie each had three assists for the Western Hockey League champions.
Yannick Riendeau had a four-point night for Drummondville, scoring once and assisting on a pair of goals by Marc-Olivier Vachon and another from defenceman Marc-Antoine Desnoyers.
The Rockets play their last round robin game on Tuesday against the desperate Windsor Spitfires (0-2), who must win to avoid elimination. Drummondville plays the host Rimouski Oceanic (1-1) on Wednesday night for second place.
A thriller of a third period saw Vachon score his second of the game on a power play at 7:23 to give the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champions a 4-3 lead, only to have Benn get his third of the contest with a man advantage at 9:26 after a feed from Mikael Backlund.
Only 2:15 later, Benn broke in on the left side and saw his wrist shot go off a stick and slide through the pads of Marco Cousineau, who allowed five goals on his first 17 shots.
Almond beat Cousineau with an off-wing wrist shot at 18:29 to seal the victory.
The Rockets got an early break in front of the Colisee crowd of 4,225 when Dmitry Kulikov, slated to be a high pick in next month’s NHL draft, lost the puck off his stick at centre ice on a rush. Colin Long poked it to Benn, who went in on a short-handed breakaway and stuffed the puck under Marco Cousineau’s pad 4:02 into the game.
Riendeau, the Quebec league scoring champion, saw his bad-angled shot go in off goalie Mark Guggenberger’s skate to tie it at 14:27 and then feed a cross-ice pass for Vachon to convert on Drummondville’s third power play of the period at 17:10.
Kulikov was the victim again as he was beaten on a rush by Benn, who fed cross-ice to Alomond for a one-time shot that left Cousineau no chance at 9:09 of the second frame.
Only 38 seconds later, Riendeau cut off a puck along the boards and fed Desnoyers at the point for a high shot that fooled Guggenberger.
With 1:13 left in the period, a three-way passing play from Myers to Long to Benn made it a 3-3 game going into the third.
Notes: Forward Samson Mahbod, who missed Drummondville’s first game due to illness, was back in the line-up while defenceman Marc-Erik Ouellet was scratched.