Henrik Samuelsson, Edgars Kulda spur inspired Edmonton Oil Kings to the top: Memorial Cup 3 Stars

Buzzing The Net

LONDON, Ont. — The Henrik Samuelsson-Mitch Moroz-Edgars Kulda line embodied #PlayForPelssy to the very end, with the latter two scoring second-period goals that spurred the Edmonton Oil Kings to a 6-3 win over Guelph for the Memorial Cup.

The Oil Kings showed no weariness from their triple-overtime semifinal win over Val-d'Or, falling behind twice early before outplaying and outshooting Guelph. Goalie Tristan Jarry was redoubtable, rallying his team with a breakaway save on Tyler Bertuzzi in the first period.

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Down two after two thanks to Kulda and Moroz's markers, Guelph stoked hopes of a comeback with a Zack Mitchell goal. Eighty-three seconds later, Samuelsson, who was quietly devastating throughout the day, finished off a 3-on-2 with a glove-side goal.

Samuelsson completed a five-point day by scoring an empty-netter with 1:26 left.

Edmonton will bring its city its first Memorial Cup title since 1966, when the original Oil Kings captured junior hockey's grail. The result ends a dream season for Guelph, which won 71 of its 92 games this season. Edmonton, ultimately, will cap off a run of three consecutive 50-win regular seasons and two Western Hockey League titles by taking home the CHL's big prize.

No. 1 star: Henrik Samuelsson, Edmonton Oil Kings

Samuelsson was a two-way force throughout the day, as the rangy Phoenix Coyotes draft pick had three assists before his goal with 15 minutes to play. The Storm simply didn't have a response for Samuelsson's strength and smarts, as he finished with two goals and three assists.

The centre doesn't always seem to get a lot of attention on a team which has a Canadian NHL team first-rounder, Curtis Lazar, as its other top-6 centre. Samuelsson, though, had a sensational tournament. Prior to the final, he was tied for first in the touranment in takeaways according to the advanced stats compiled by PowerScout. The son of Ulf Samuelsson probably will retain the lead in that stat after a great game on Sunday.

The Samuelsson-Moroz-Kulda troika proved too much for Guelph to handle, as it mixed size, savvy and speed.

No. 2 star: Edgars Kulda, Edmonton Oil Kings

Kulda, who played with fire and flair throughout the tournament, was prominent in the decisive stage in the second period. The Latvian Nightmare, as he's known, vaulted the Oil Kings into the lead 6:06 into the second with a power-play goal from the right of goalie Justin Nichols.

Eight minutes later, Kulda sent a perfect cross-ice pass to Mitch Moroz. Moroz ripped a shot in off the goalpost to open a two-goal lead and put Guelph in the unaccustomed position of having to play catch-up.

Kulda's creativity was a critical element in the line's 10-point day. On Samuelsson's dagger goal, Kulda threaded a pass through Guelph's coverage to give his centre time and space for a finishing move.

No. 3 star: Zack Mitchell, Guelph Storm

The Minnesota Wild signing was Guelph's best player on the afternoon, turning in a tireless effort to sustain pressure on his goal that briefly cut Edmonton's lead to 4-3 early in the third. Mitchell also had an assist on the day's first goal. The graduating overage and his linemates, centre Robby Fabbri and Zack Mitchell, each collected two points.

Honourable mention: Tristan Jarry, Edmonton Oil Kings

The Pittsburgh Penguins-drafted goalie, who had what coach Derek Laxdal called an "okay, not great" game eight days ago vs. Guelph, refused to let it happen again. Jarry entered his name into the annals of Memorial Cup-winning goalie by making 32 saves.

In the first period, when Guelph exerted its most pressure, Jarry robbed Brock McGinn with a glove save on a 20-foot rocket. Later in the frame, Tyler Bertuzzi, who had five goals in the Storm's first three games, got in on a breakaway and was denied. As the day went on, the Storm seemed to be putting too fine a touch on their shots.

On a second-period 3-on-1, the OHL's highest-scoring team didn't even record an official shot when Rychel missed the net entirely. Moroz scored later in that sequence.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.

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