Huskies hold on to beat Wheat Kings at MasterCard Memorial Cup

Gilles Bouchard of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies joins Jeff Marek, Damien Cox and Todd Warriner to comment after the Huskies defeated the Brandon Wheat Kings at the MasterCard Memorial Cup.

RED DEER, Alta. — Timo Meier scored twice as the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies beat the Brandon Wheat Kings 5-3 on Saturday at the 2016 Memorial Cup.

Anthony-John Greer, Gabriel Fontaine and Philippe Myers also scored for the Huskies. Francis Perron, a 2014 Ottawa Senators draft pick, chipped in with three assists.

Reid Duke, Tyler Coulter and John Quenneville found the back of the net for the Wheat Kings.

Rouyn-Noranda’s Chase Marchand made 38 saves for the win as Brandon’s Jordan Papirny gave up five goals on 29 shots.

The Huskies, the QMJHL champion and No. 1 ranked team in the CHL, are making their first-ever appearance at the Memorial Cup while the WHL champion Wheat Kings are participating for the fifth time in franchise history.

Meier had 23 goals and 51 points in 29 regular season games for Rouyn-Noranda after being acquired mid-season from the Halifax Mooseheads.

Brandon came out as the aggressor, hitting everyone who touched the puck, and it paid off when Duke put a rebound past Marchand less than three minutes into the game for a 1-0 lead.

Perron, QMJHL playoff MVP, got alone in the slot for Rouyn-Noranda’s first real scoring chance, but Papirny gloved his wrist shot with ease.

Jeremy Lauzon laid out Jordan Thompson at Brandon’s blue line and was called for interference, leading to the game’s first power play. But the Huskies killed it off and Lauzon fresh out of the box found Greer, who beat Papirny off a rush to tie the game at 14:06 of the first.

Bruno-Carl Denis harmlessly threw the puck at the net from the point and Fontaine tipped it past a screened Papirny to make it 2-1 at 18:33, and Meier made it a two-goal lead with 24 seconds remaining in the period.

Myers put a wrist shot from the top of the circle past Papirny while on the power play at 13:29 of the second to make it 4-1. Papirny thought he was interfered with on the play, but his argument wasn’t being heard by the officials.

Meier, the San Jose Sharks’ first-round pick from the 2015 draft, scored his second of the game four minutes later, beating Papirny with a wrist shot below the glove.

The Wheat Kings started the third similar to the first, at one point outshooting Rouyn-Noranda 20-2, and got one back off a broken play at 8:07. Coulter shovelled the puck in the net before falling on Marchand, who was slow to get up but continued.

Quenneville showed off his skill on a breakaway after a lead pass from Ivan Provorov to make it 5-3 with just over seven minutes to play. The New Jersey Devils draft pick went between the legs and lifted the puck top corner over a sprawled-out Marchand.

The Wheat Kings’ momentum continued and Marchand had to bail out his team on more than one occasion to preserve the victory.

Notes: Rouyn-Noranda defenceman Jeremy Lauzon, a 2015 Boston draft pick, played for the first time since suffering a neck laceration on April 14. The Huskies play the Red Deer Rebels on Saturday while Brandon’s next game is Sunday against the London Knights.

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