Day 1 of the CHL Memorial eCup presented by Kia is in the books, and five WHL players have advanced to Round 2 of the inaugural CHL eSports tournament.
Booker Daniel of the Tri-City Americans, Luka Burzan of the Brandon Wheat Kings, Rhett Rhinehart of the Saskatoon Blades, Lukas Svejkovsky of the Medicine Hat Tigers, and Trevor Longo of the Vancouver Giants all punched tickets to the next stage of the event with key victories.
Sarnia Sting / Justin O’Donnell (6) vs. Winnipeg ICE / Michael Milne (4)
Justin O’Donnell and the Sarnia Sting knocked Mikey Milne and the Winnipeg ICE out of Memorial eCup contention as they secured victory on the strength of a four-goal third period en route to a 6-4 triumph.
The two teams found themselves knotted up 2-2 after 40 minutes of play. A 3-3 affair with 14 minutes to go in regulation quickly got away from Milne and the ICE as O’Donnell ran away with it in the late stages of the third period.
Guelph Storm / Ben McFarlane (1) vs. Tri-City Americans / Booker Daniel (2) – SO
Booker Daniel and the Tri-City Americans are officially on the CHL Memorial eCup radar after an impressive 2-1 shootout victory on Saturday afternoon.
Daniel, hailing from Vanderhoof, B.C., brought a stingy defense during regulation and showed off his offensive skill in the shootout to advance the Ams past Ben McFarlane and the OHL’s Guelph Storm.
Soo Greyhounds / Rory Kerins (2) vs. Swift Current Broncos / Bode Hagan (1)
Bode Hagan and the Swift Current Broncos battled right down to the wire, but a late tally from the Soo Greyhounds slammed the door on Hagan’s Memorial eCup hopes on Saturday afternoon.
Kerins used Tye Kartye to break in alone late in regulation, securing the deciding marker to advance the Soo to Round 2.
Spokane Chiefs / Matt Leduc (3) vs. Saginaw Spirit / Danny Katic (7)
Danny Katic secured an e-Gordie Howe hat trick for the Saginaw Spirit, ending the Memorial eCup hopes for Matt Leduc and the Spokane Chiefs on Day 1 of the inaugural tourney.
Brandon Wheat Kings / Luka Burzan (4) vs. Cape Breton Eagles / Jacob Santerre (2)
The Brandon Wheat Kings became the second WHL Club to advance to Round 2 of the CHL Memorial eCup after Luka Burzan doubled up Jacob Santerre of the Cape Breton Eagles.
Burzan leaned on Cole Reinhardt, who found the back of the net twice in the first-round contest.
Blainville-Boisbriand Armada / Simon Lavigne (2) vs. Saskatoon Blades / Rhett Rhinehart (3)
Rhett Rhinehart and the Saskatoon Blades built a 2-1 lead through 40 minutes of play, hanging on for a 3-2 win over the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada on Day 1 of the CHL Memorial eCup.
Forward Alex Morozoff opened the scoring for the Blades, registering the lone goal of the first period.
Celebrity Guest / Zach Hodder (1) vs. Medicine Hat Tigers / Lukas Svejkovsky (7)
In the first blowout of the day, celebrity guest Zach Hodder showed why he has long retired from playing video games, as he suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Lukas Svejkovsky and the Medicine Hat Tigers.
Svejkovsky, celebrating his 19th birthday this week, put the boots to Hodder – a former Tiger – by building a 7-0 lead and completely dominating the gameplay from start to finish.
Hodder, utilizing the Vancouver Giants – one of his many former WHL Clubs – was able to break Svejkovsky’s shutout in the dying minutes of the game, escaping complete embarrassment. But it wasn’t enough to advance as Svejkovsky powered the Tigers to Round 2.
Red Deer Rebels / Chris Douglas (4) vs. Oshawa Generals / Allan McShane (5) – OT
The Red Deer Rebels and Chris Douglas suffered a heartbreaking loss at the hands of Allan McShane and the Oshawa Generals, falling 5-4 in overtime. McShane propelled his Club to victory by skating Phil Tomasino in on a shorthanded breakaway, scoring the deciding goal in dramatic fashion.
Vancouver Giants / Trevor Longo (4) vs. London Knights / Max McCue (0)
Trevor Longo and the Vancouver Giants locked things down defensively, eliminating the London Knights from contention by scoring the only shutout on Day 1 of the CHL Memorial eCup.
Alex Kannon-Leipert opened the scoring for the G-Men, and his tally went on to stand as the game-winning goal.
Longo impressed as he controlled the puck from start to finish, pushing his name to the forefront as a favourite moving into Round 2 of the CHL Memorial eCup.
Day 2 of the CHL Memorial eCup presented by Kia is scheduled for November 30, with Carson Denomie and the Regina Pats, Kishaun Gervais and the Portland Winterhawks, and Ty Yoder and Victoria Royals all in action.
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