Keegan Lowe probably owes Henrik Samuelsson dinner after a dramatic turn of events in Shawinigan on Friday night.
Just 23 seconds after a Lowe giveaway resulted in the game-tying goal, Samuelsson converted on a Stephane Legault pass, giving the Oil Kings a 4-3 win over the host Cataractes in the opening game of the 2012 Memorial Cup. Kristians Pelss, Griffin Reinhart and Martin Gernat also scored for the Oil Kings, while Michael Chaput scored a pair and Anton Zlobin added a single for Shawinigan.
An early turnover resulted in the opening goal for Pelss, who broke in on a short 2-on-0 with Michael St. Croix and beat Alex Dubeau at 2:41. Chaput tied it up on a Cataractes power play at 8:36 though, jumping on a rebound in the Edmonton zone and putting a hard shot past Laurent Brossoit.
Shots were just 5-5 in a scoreless second period, but the two clubs would more than make up for that with an exciting five-goal third.
It started early on with Griffin Reinhart driving down the left wing and ripping a shot into the Shawinigan net at the 1:01 mark for the 2-1 lead. Martin Gernat made it 3-1 at 5:40 when he capitalized on a key faceoff win and beat Dubeau with a low shot to the right corner. The Cataractes got one back in somewhat controversial fashion at 6:37 when Anton Zlobin put the puck on net and the play appeared to be whistled down. Upon further review, the officials gave the goal, making it 3-2.
An unlucky bounce created the equalizer at the 13:19 mark, when Keegan Lowe skated out from behind his own net on an Oil Kings breakout and lost the puck in his skates. Chaput wound up with possession, and he roofed it over the shoulder of Brossoit to tie the game up with less than seven minutes to play. The momentum wouldn't last long though - just 23 seconds later, with the Cataractes scrambling in their own end, Legault found a wide open Samuelsson at the side of the net and he blasted a one-timer past Dubeau for the eventual game-winning goal.
Brossoit made 30 saves in the win for Edmonton, while Dubeau gave up four goals on 24 shots at the other end. The Oil Kings face the Saint John Sea Dogs on Monday. (jk)
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