It took a sixth period to decide who would take on the Guelph Storm in the Memorial Cup final.
The Edmonton Oil Kings defeated the Val d’Or Foreurs 4-3 in triple-overtime, now the longest game in tournament history.
Kurtis Lazar tipped home the winner off a Cody Corbett point shot, beating Antoine Bibeau just under three minutes into the period.
“We had that eye contact and he found my stick on the ice,” says Lazar, who says this was his first overtime winner ever, including minor hockey. “It’s never a bad idea in overtime to throw the puck on net.”
Much like the crowd at Budweiser Gardens that stuck around to see who would put an end to the marathon, Lazar was also relieved to put an end to the game.
“My first thought was go to bed,” he says.
Edmonton had a chance to end the game much sooner. The Oil Kings had a 3-1 lead halfway through the game, and were holding on to a 3-2 lead with less than a minute to go in the third. It was there that Val d’Or warrior defenceman Guillaume Gelinas fired home a wrist shot with 36 seconds to go in the game.
Gelinasm, the team’s top offensive defenseman, was playing through a leg injury that occurred in their round robin game against Guelph. The incident saw the Storm’s Chadd Bauman suspended for the rest of the tournament for a knee on knee hit with Gelinas.
The loss spells an end to the Quebec league champs and possibly star player Anthony Mantha’s junior career.
“I’m always going to remember what we did this year,” says the Detroit Red Wings prospect, adding that his team accomplished the unthinkable. “At the beginning of the year, nobody would have imagined we would be here.”
Mantha scored over 80 goals this season.
With the win, Edmonton will take on the undefeated Guelph Storm on Sunday for the Memorial Cup.