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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Kelowna wins 2-1 for its first Memorial Cup title

CHL Network

Justin Keller scored the game winning goal late in the third period as the host Kelowna Rockets won their first ever MasterCard Memorial Cup by defeating the QMJHL Champion Gatineau Olympiques 2-1 on Sunday in Kelowna, British Columbia.

The Rockets are the first team since the Ottawa 67’s in 1999 to win the Memorial Cup on home ice and the victory marks the first time the host team has gone undefeated in the tournament.

Despite numerous chances on both ends of the ice through the first two periods of play, neither team could find the back of the net until the third. Six and a half minutes into the third period, Gatineau’s Jean Michel Daoust slapped a pass to Guillaume Fournier, who tipped it past Kelowna goalie Kelly Guard for his first goal of the tournament.

Less than four minutes later, Kelowna tied things up after a rebound off a Brett Palin slap shot went straight to Randall Gelech, who calmly chipped it in past Gatineau goaltender David Tremblay for his third goal of the tournament.

Kelowna had a chance to take the lead just seconds later, but found the post instead.

With 13:38 left to play, Keller streaked in from the right side and tucked the puck between the pads of Tremblay, bringing the largest-ever crowd to attend Kelowna’s Prospera Place to their feet.

Guard had another stellar performance between the pipes for Kelowna. Guard, who recently signed a three-year deal with the Ottawa Senators, made 23 saves in the game and was named tournament MVP. He had a GAA of 0.75 and a 97.1 save percentage through four games.

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