Oil Kings slip past Foreurs on triple OT tip-in

The Edmonton Oil Kings celebrate after beating the Val d'Or Foreurs in the Memorial Cup semifinal...

The Edmonton Oil Kings celebrate after beating the Val d'Or Foreurs in the Memorial Cup semifinal in London, Ont. on Friday May 23, 2014. (DEREK RUTTAN/QMI Agency)

RYAN PYETTE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:35 AM ET

The Edmonton Oil Kings are off to the Memorial Cup final.

But first, let them sleep.

Curtis Lazar ended the longest game in Cup history by tipping a point shot past Val d’Or goalie Antoine Bibeau at the 2:42 mark of triple overtime — 102 minutes, 42 seconds in total — in the semifinal before 8,776 Friday night at Budweiser Garden, giving the Oil Kings a 4-3 win and send them to Sunday’s championship final against the Guelph Storm.

Edmonton will play for its first Cup crown since a franchise bearing the same name won it all in 1966.

The exhausted Oil Kings and the fatigued Foreurs breezed past the previous longest marathon Cup game. It was played on this same ice nine years ago when Ottawa’s Brad Staubitz scored at the 95:41 mark, 4:19 left in double-overtime, to beat the Kelowna Rockets.

The two clubs, who needed Game 7 road wins in their respective league finals just to get to London, showed no inclination to head home.

But the Foreurs, who forced these marathon hockey sessions, will do so.

Overage defenceman Guillaume Gelina, too injured to play in Val d’Or’s double-overtime win over Edmonton on Tuesday, spurred the record-breaking hockey. Recovering from a knee contusion and looking uncomfortable at times when forced to pivot, Gelinas zipped a long shot past Edmonton goalie Tristan Jarry with 36 seconds left in the third period with goalie Bibeau on the bench for an extra attacker.

The Oil Kings took a 3-1 lead in the second period, but as in their round-robin meeting, couldn’t hold it against the resilient Quebec league champions.

From the middle of the second period on, it looked like soft-handed Latvian Edgar Kulda’s breath-taking deke in tight to beat Bibeau, a Leafs draft pick, would stand up as the winner.

Bibeau denied Kulda on an early penalty shot in their last meeting.

The happiest group is the unbeaten Guelph Storm, who were watching their potential adversaries beat up on each other.

By the time the puck drops Sunday afternoon in the final, the Storm will have been waiting four days for their foes.

The OHL champions scored 18 goals in three round-robin games, including a 5-2 win over Edmonton and a 6-3 win over Val d’Or in which they chased Bibeau after 40 minutes.

The Foreurs had Gelinas, the Quebec league’s 92-point point man, back in the lineup for the first time since suffering a hit by Guelph’s Chadd Bauman, who is suspended for the remainder of the tournament.

He tried to join the rush and play with some aggression in his own end. He took a penalty in the second period for – what else – kneeing Edmonton forward Riley Kieser.

Phil Pietroniro, who scored six regular-season goals in 55 games, put Val d’Or up 1:49 into the first. Later in the period, he left the game after absorbing an awkward hit with his shoulder and went to hospital for treatment.

The Oil Kings tied it when Mads Eller buried a big rebound on a delayed penalty call.

The Foreurs earned last change – and the option to match lines – because of their 4-3 double-overtime win over Edmonton on Tuesday.

That gave head coach Mario Durocher the chance to dictate how much top forward Anthony Mantha, the Detroit first-rounder, played against Edmonton captain Griffin Reinhart.

The two junior versions of ‘Great 8s’ didn’t see much of each other early.

The future Islanders d-man delivered a bounce-back game after finishing minus-3 the last time out against the Foreurs.

He set up Eller’s goal after drawing the penalty. He was the catalyst of another Foreurs infraction in the second period by going hard to the net.

The Oil Kings, led by Reinhart, play a bruising style. They pounded the Foreurs at every opportunity.

Val d’Or didn’t plan to shy away from it.

“Our team is one of the more physical team in the Q,” 100-point man Louick Marcotte said. “We’ve already seen worse than this. I don’t think it’s a big difference.

“I’ll play against whoever the coach puts me on. I don’t mind playing anybody.”

They thrived on tough situations in the playoffs and at this Cup.

They dragged themselves here in London after winning a Game 7 in the league final on the road in Baie-Comeau.

Because of their remote location in Quebec, they flew back and forth in three of their four playoff series. In the other one against Drummondville, they rode eight hours on the bus.

“We had two months running everywhere. It was really good for us,” rookie defenceman Olivier Galipeau said. “We’re living the pro life. It was really nice. It helped us and when you taste the winning, you always want to do it.”

And clearly, they don’t want it to stop.

ryan.pyette@sunmedia.ca

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Oil Kings 4, Foreurs 3 (3OT)

Free Press 3 Stars

1. Curtis Lazar, Oil Kings. Everyone's hero.

2. Mitch Moroz, Oil Kings. Best outing.

3. Guillaume Gelinas, Foreurs. Gutty effort.

First period

1. Val d'Or, Pietroniro 1 (Beauregard, Gazzola) 1:49

Zipped it over Jarry's club.

2. Edmonton, Eller 1 (Reinhart, Moroz) 9:00

Big rebound on delayed penalty.

Penalty – Pollock, Edm (high-sticking) 11:33.

Second period

3. Edmonton, Moroz 1 (Mayo, Corbett) 6:34 (pp)

Beat Bibeau glove side.

4. Edmonton, Kulda 3 (Petryk) 9:45

Nifty deke on Bibeau.

5. Val d'Or, Gazzola 2 (Beauregard, Graves) 17:52

Penalties – Eller, Edm (boarding) 2:29, Gauthier, Vdo (tripping) 5:12, Graves, Vdo (interference) 7:42, Gelinas, Vdo (kneeing), Richard, Vdo (unsportsmanlike conduct), Bertolucci, Edm (roughing) 10:13..

Third period

6. Val d'Or, Gelinas 1 (Mantha, Marcotte) 19:24

Injured d-man knotted it up.

Penalty – Moroz, Edm (tripping) 5:15.

First Overtime

No scoring.

Penalties – None.

Second Overtime

No scoring.

Penalty – Sautner, Edm (delay of game) 12:41.

Third Overtime

7. Edmonton, Lazar 2 (Corbett, Petryk) 2:42

Overtime hero.

Penalties – None.

Shots on goal by

Edmonton 10 16 8 12 7 1—54

Val d'Or 12 4 13 9 11 0—49

Goal: Edmonton: Jarry (W, 2-2); Val d'Or: Bibeau (L, 2-2).

Power plays (goals-chances): Edm 1-3. Vdo 0-4.

Referees – Scott Oakman, Brett Iverson. Linesmen – Mike Harrington, Cory Piche.

Attendance – 8,776 (8,863).


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