Montreal Canadiens Prospects Jan Mysak, Arber Xhekaj to Face QMJHL Champs In Memorial Cup Semifinal

HAMILTON, ONTARIO - MARCH 14: Arber Xhekaj. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)
HAMILTON, ONTARIO - MARCH 14: Arber Xhekaj. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images) /

The Montreal Canadiens sent three of their prospects to the Memorial Cup this year. Arber Xhekaj and Jan Mysak are playing for the OHL champion Hamilton Bulldogs and Kaiden Guhle was in the tournament with the Edmonton Oil Kings who won the WHL championship.

Xavier Simoneau and William Trudeau nearly joined them, but they fell to the Shawinigan Cataractes in the QMJHL final. So that left three Habs prospects and they didn’t exactly have the best round robin.

The Bulldogs lost their first two games, to the Cataractes and also the host Saint John Sea Dogs. The Oil Kings also lost to the Cataractes, but defeated the Sea Dogs in overtime to grab two points in the standings.

The two teams featuring Habs prospects then played each other on Friday night, with one team certain to be eliminated. The Bulldogs, with the help of two assists from Xhekaj pulled out the win, though Guhle added an assist in the third period to give the Oil Kings life.

All that was left to decide at that point was which team would go straight to the final, and who would face the Bulldogs in the semifinal?

The two QMJHL teams faced off on Saturday afternoon to settle first place in the round robin and it was a wild game. The Cataractes pulled ahead 3-0 after the first period on goals by Loris Rafanomezantsoa, Oliver Nadeau and William Veillette. But the game was far from over.

William Dufour absolutely took over and scored a natural hit trick to tie the game before the midpoint of the second period. Calgary Flames prospect Jerermie Poirier gave the Sea Dogs a lead with just under six minutes to play in the second and Dufour netted his fourth of the game in the third period to seal the 5-3 win.

That puts the host Sea Dogs into the final game on Wednesday night. Xhekaj and Mysak will get a rematch with the Cataractes with a chance to join Saint John in the final. Shawinigan defeated Hamilton 3-2 in a back and forth affair on Thursday night.

The Cataractes were led by their dynamic duo of Mavrik Bourque and Xavier Bourgault who each had a goal and two assists in the game. It will be up to Xhekaj to try and shut down that combination on Monday night when the two teams meet again in the Memorial Cup semifinal.

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