Two-goal win will earn 67's trip to final

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:27 AM ET

LONDON -- The 67's still have a chance to finish atop the Memorial Cup round-robin standings.

But for that to happen, it'll take a win against the heavily favoured Knights tonight at the John Labatt Centre.

Orders don't come much taller than that.

Even a victory doesn't assure the 67's top spot in the round-robin competition and a bye into Sunday's championship final.

Ottawa must win by at least two goals in order to secure top spot.

The Rimouski Oceanic made the scenario possible last night after a 4-3 win over the Kelowna Rockets.

What's certain is the Rockets, the defending Cup champs, are out of the tournament after losing all three of their round-robin games.

A win tonight by Ottawa would give the 67's, Knights and Oceanic all 2-1 records.

First place and a bye into Sunday's championship final would be decided by a mathematical formula involving the goals for and against by each club in the games they faced each other.

But it's less complicated if Ottawa loses.

The Knights would finish first at 3-0 and get a bye into the final, while Ottawa and Rimouski would meet in Saturday's semi-final with the Oceanic as the home team with last-change privileges.

"We're through to the semi-final now. We really wanted to avoid the tie-breaker because this gives us a couple of days off. We're in the right spot," said Rimouski centre Sidney Crosby, who had a goal and one assist last night.

The Oceanic needed to scramble to secure last night's win.

They appeared to have the game well in hand heading into the third, leading 4-1, but the Rockets got a pair of goals from Blake Comeau early in the third to get close.

Kelowna pressed for the equalizer and nearly scored numerous times, but the Oceanic escaped with the win.

"Our guys never quit and our guys never backed down," said Kelowna coach Jeff Truitt.

The game was tied 1-1 after Tyler Spurgeon scored a power-play goal for Kelowna early in the second.

But the Oceanic pulled ahead on goals by Crosby, Mario Scalzo Jr. --short-handed -- and Jean-Michel Bolduc during a power play before the end of the middle period.

Rimouski goalie Cedrick Desjardins made 44 saves.

The Rockets opened the tournament with a 3-2 loss in double overtime to the 67's.

"It would have been nice to get that first game of the tournament," said Comeau. "If you lose that first one, you're already behind the 8-ball."


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