Rupert, Knights Drop Second Straight
LONDON, Ont. — Edgars Kulda and Luke Bertolucci each scored twice to lift the Edmonton Oil Kings to a 5-2 win over the London Knights at the Memorial Cup on Sunday.
Playing their second game in as many nights, the Western Hockey League champions improved to 1-1 in the tournament. Reid Petryk also scored for the Oil Kings. Kulda had an assist for a three-point game.
Alex Basso and Dakota Mermis scored London’s first goals of the tournament, but the host Knights remained winless after two games.
London needs a win over the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm in the final round-robin game Wednesday or the host team will be eliminated from Cup contention.
Leafs prospect Ryan Rupert was stopped on a penalty shot in the first period. He was a minus 2 on the night and has yet to record a point in the two London loses.
Knights are 0-for-2 on penalty shots in the tournament.
Edmonton’s Tristan Jarry stopped Ryan Rupert in the first period and made 38 saves overall in the win. London goalie Anthony Stolarz gave up three goals on 27 shots and was replaced after two periods by Jake Patterson, who made 11 saves.
The Storm and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Val-d’Or Foreurs meet Monday in a battle of 1-0 teams. The game will feature Leafs prospects Matt Finn (Guelph) and Antoine Bibeau (Val-d'Or). Watch the game on Sportsnet at 7pm.
The team with the best round-robin record gets a bye to Sunday’s final. The clubs finishing second and third meet in Friday’s semifinal. A tie for third means a tiebreaker game Thursday.
The Knights opened with a loss to Val-d’Or despite outshooting the Foreurs 51-28. Edmonton fell 5-2 to the Storm on Saturday night.
London was one of three OHL teams to score over 300 goals during the regular season. The Knights were eliminated by the Storm on April 11 in the second round of playoffs and are slow to recover their scoring touch.
Rupert was hauled down on a breakaway late in the first period by Edmonton defenceman Ashton Sautner. Jarry squeezed his pads together to foil Rupert’s five-hole attempt.
Val-d’Or goalie Antoine Bibeau stopped London’s Bo Horvat on a penalty shot in the third period in the tournament-opener.
Bertolucci scored Edmonton’s first power-play goal of the tournament at 18:23 of the third period when Knights right-winger Michael McCarron was in the penalty box for punching Mitchel Moroz.
London scored on a delayed penalty at 9:27 in the third to pull within two goals. Max Domi buzzed around the offensive zone with the puck to get an extra attacker on the ice before shooting. Mermis batted in the rebound in a goal-mouth scramble.
Kulda collected his own rebound and banked the puck off a sprawling Stolarz at 18:04 of the second period for the Latvian’s second goal of the game.
Basso pulled the Knights within a goal at 16:12. The defenceman had a clear shooting lane at Jarry, who got a piece of Basso’s blast, but the puck bobbled over his glove and in.
Kulda gave the visitors a 2-0 lead at 6:05 of the second period. The left-winger rushed the puck out of the neutral zone, cut left across the top of the faceoff circles and beat Stolarz with a wrist shot on the goalie’s stick side.
The Knights killed off Edmonton’s two-man advantage in the first period, but Petryk struck at 9:42 just seconds after the second minor expired. Kulda teed the puck up for Petryk in the high slot and the overage forward beat Stolarz top shelf.