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Memorial Cup: Host Quebec knocks off WHL champ Kelowna 4-3

Cats prospects Clapperton and Brown will square off this afternoon.

Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

The host Quebec Remparts opened the 2015 Mastercard Memorial Cup with a 4-3 win over the Kelowna Rockets last night at Colisee Pepsi.

The Remparts, who fell just short in the QMJHL final, jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period on Nikolas Brouillard's even-stregnth tally. The goal was assisted by Vladimir Tkachev.

Tkachev combined with Marc-Olivier Roy to set up Matt Murphy's goal at 13:22 of the second period to put Quebec up by two.

The WHL champion Rockets got on the board before the end of the frame when Nick Merkley scored shorthanded. A pair of Coles, Linaker and Martin, drew the helpers on the marker.

Quebec struck for a shorthanded goal of their own early in the third period to go back up by two. Ryan Graves did the honors, with the assists going to Anthony Duclair and Massimo Carozza.

Kelowna clawed back to within a goal at the 12:43 mark when Gage Quinney scored on a power play, from Josh Morrissey and Tyson Baillie.

Adam Erne looked to have clinched the game with an empty-net goal with 1:04 remaining, but Edmonton Oilers prospect Leon Draisaitl bagged a power-play marker, from Baillie and Merkley, with 36 seconds left to keep things interesting until the final buzzer.

Zachary Fucale made 26 saves to get the win while Jackson Whistle took the loss, finishing with 27 stops in the evenly played matchup.

The round robin portion of the tournament contains today with a game at 4:30 pm between the QMJHL's Rimouski Oceanic and the Oshawa Generals of the OHL. The tilt will feature Florida Panthers prospects Chris Clapperton and Josh Brown.