Montreal Canadiens Prospect Kaiden Guhle Loses Memorial Cup Opener

KENT, WASHINGTON - JUNE 07: Kaiden Guhle (Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images)
KENT, WASHINGTON - JUNE 07: Kaiden Guhle (Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images) /

Montreal Canadiens prospects got off on the wrong foot on the opening day of the Memorial Cup. Teammates Arber Xhekaj and Jan Mysak were taken by surprise by the host team and lost 5-3.

The heavily favoured OHL champion Hamilton Bulldogs were fresh off a thrilling Game 7 win in the OHL Final just five days before Monday night’s Memorial Cup blast off. However, the fresh Saint John Sea Dogs who had 38 days off after losing in the first round of the QMJHL playoffs were the victors.

Fellow Habs prospect Kaiden Guhle didn’t fare much better in his team’s first game of the tournament. His Edmonton Oil Kings, the champions of the WHL were facing the QMJHL crowned Shawinigan Cataractes. It is a tough tournament to predict, with teams who never faced either other before going head to head, but many would have predicted the Bulldogs and Oil Kings to be the two best teams in Canadian Junior hockey this season.

They haven’t looked it so far in this tournament. After the Bulldogs lost on opening night, the Oil Kings also started the event with an 0-1 record. In what was a back and forth game all night, the Cataractes pulled ahead in the third period and shut things down the rest of the way.

Shawinigan opened the scoring midway through the first period, but Guhle’s defence partner Luke Prokop responded in the final minute of the period. The Oil Kings took a 2-1 lead in the second when Guhle fired a stretch pass about 120 feet to teammate Tyler Horstmann.

Just three minutes later, Xavier Bourgault tied the game, but the Oil Kings pulled ahead again and took a 3-2 lead into the final frame. Their goaltender, Sebastian Cossa made several huge saves in the game, but the Cataractes kept coming.

Shawinigan tied the game at three early in the third period and just over a minute later they took the lead that would last. It appeared Guhle had his man covered as the puck was behind the net but Mavrik Bourque somehow got one hand on his stick and moved the puck to the slot to set up the game’s winning goal.

Guhle appeared to do everything right in swatting the initial attempt and then taking his man out as they raced for a loose puck. But Bourque was able to just tap the puck and get it back into the slot.

The Oil Kings will have a chance to bounce back tonight when they face the Sea Dogs. Another loss would put Edmonton on the verge of being eliminated. Tonight’s game will begin at 6:00 PM EST and can be seen on TSN.

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