Tyson Baillie and the Kelowna Rockets will battle Ken Appleby and the Oshawa Generals Sunday for Canada's national major junior hockey championship.

Tyson Baillie and the Kelowna Rockets will battle Ken Appleby and the Oshawa Generals Sunday for Canada's national major junior hockey championship.

Final showdown set between Rockets and Generals

Kelowna faces OHL champs Sunday in Quebec for Memorial Cup title

Two hundred and fifty-two days after the first drop of the puck on the 2014-15 Western Hockey League season, the Kelowna Rockets are precisely where they want to be.

On Sunday in Quebec City, the Rockets will battle the Oshawa Generals for Canadian major junior hockey supremacy.

The WHL champs had one last practice Saturday at Colisée Pepsi prior to one of the most important games many of the Rockets will ever play.

Still, even with all that’s at stake in Sunday’s Memorial Cup final, head coach Dan Lambert wants his team to remain composed and absorb all that the situation has to offer.

“I think the guys gotta be loose, they just gotta take it all in, enjoy and live in the moment,” said Lambert. “I think practice wasn’t as intense as you want a practice, but because of the situation we’re in you don’t want it to be too intense either, you want the guys to be loose, yet making plays, yet having fun and smiling, that’s the way it should be.

“That was their last practice together, ever, so for that reason I thought it was important that they got on the ice today,” Lambert added.

Sunday night’s championship final will be the second meeting of the week between the Rockets and defensive-minded Ontario Hockey League champs.

Oshawa held off the Rockets for a 2-1 win on Tuesday to close out the round robin with a 3-0 record.

The Rockets, meanwhile, rebounded from that loss with a resounding 9-3 evisceration of a tired Quebec Remparts team in Friday night’s semifinal—a fact not lost on Generals’ forward Mike McCarron.

“They’re an offensive team, they can do scary good things up front,” McCarron said. “But in saying that we have tremendous defensive mentality and I think we’ve been getting better, better by the three games we played in this tournament in the D-zone, and I think we’re going to be ready for them.”

From Generals’ coach D.J. Smith’s perspective, fans are going to see the country’s two best teams going head-to-head. He also believes the side that handles the pressure the best will prevail.

“I think the first period will be a lot of nerves, probably on both sides but the team that can settle down the quickest will come out the best,” Smith said. “The teams with the two best records are here, we’re both league champions, I think you have the two best teams in this game.”

“They can score and they have a lot of high-end players,” added Smith, when asked about Kelowna’s firepower. “You don’t sweep a Western Hockey League final if you’re not a legitimate team and they certainly are that.”

With a long season about to come to head on Sunday, captain Madison Bowey couldn’t have asked for a better scenario.

“We had one thing in mind going into this and that was playing for a Memorial Cup,” said Bowey. “It’s pretty surreal and hopefully it’s going to be a great feeling coming out on top.

“We know we’re going to have a good test, so we’re looking forward to that, gearing up for Oshawa.”

Tomorrow’s championship will also mark the final hockey game ever played at the storied Colisée Pepsi which opened its doors in 1949.

It will be replaced this fall by the new $400 million Videotron Centre.

Sunday’s Memorial Cup final between the Rockets and Generals will start at 4 p.m.

 

 

 

Just Posted

“I want to see the difference in the world, embrace it, celebrate it … ” Photo: David Cantelli/Unsplash
A new way to say ‘Hello’

“Inclusion, you see, is NOT about making us all the same.”

Waneta Manor is located on Laburnum Drive in Trail. Photo: Sheri Regnier
Senior dies as Trail tenants continue wait for broken elevator to be fixed

The elevator in Waneta Manor has been out of commission since February

For Your Consideration
Brokeback Facebook: I wish I knew how to quit you!

Thom is inspired by the proliferation of viral inane questions to reevaluate his social media use

The author during GoByBike Week. Taking a break from all that high-flying on the Isador Canyon Trail. Photo: Christina Blaskovich
The auto and the bike: A paean to them both

One becomes an extension of one’s self. The other offers the sensation of flight.

Area A Director Ali Grieve (right), Village of Fruitvale Mayor Steve Morissette (front), and Village of Montrose Mayor Mike Walsh (left) held a congratulatory ceremony for Beaver Valley students who are part of the Class of 2021 graduates of J. L. Crowe Secondary at Beaver Creek Park on Thursday. Photo: Jim Bailey
Beaver Valley Grads of 2021

Beaver Valley mayors, RDKB Area A director celebrate their 2021 graduates with gift ceremony

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read