There will be at least one Greater Trail hockey player in the Memorial Cup this year.
Montrose native Luke Bertolucci of the Edmonton Oil Kings will face Trail’s Joey Baker and the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League final after the Oil Kings eliminated the Calgary Hitmen Tuesday night.
Laurent Brossoit made 26 saves and earned his fifth shutout of the playoffs as the Oil Kings defeated the Hitmen 2-0 in Game 7 of the WHL’s Eastern Conference final.
Michael St. Croix had both Oil King goals as Edmonton advanced to the WHL final to play the Winterhawks for the Ed Chynoweth Cup for the second year in a row. The Winterhawks defeated the Kamloops Blazers in Game 5 Friday to advance to the final.
The defending champion Oil Kings were pushed to a seven-game series in last year’s showdown, but held home ice advantage: something they won’t possess in this year’s final.
Both Bertolucci, 2012, and Baker, 2011, are former Trail Smoke Eaters, and the two will battle for the right to go to the Canadian Junior championship Memorial Cup.
In his rookie season with the Oil Kings Bertolucci played in 41 games and counted two goals and four assists. In 13 games in the playoffs, the 17-year-old winger has almost equaled his season totals with two goals and two assists.
Baker meanwhile is in his second season with Portland. The 20-year-old physical forward counted a goal and seven assists this campaign and has two goals and an assist in the playoffs.