Host Halifax looks strong in winning opener over Prince Albert

Samuel Asselin opened the scoring and set up another as the Halifax Mooseheads beat the Prince Albert Raiders 4-1 on Friday in the Memorial Cup opener.

Alexis Gravel did his part for Halifax with 23 saves. Xavier Parent, Jake Ryczek and Antoine Morand also scored for the host Mooseheads while Maxim Trepanier chipped in with three assists.

The 20-year-old Asselin, who won a Memorial Cup with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan last season before a trade sent him to Halifax, led the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 48 goals in the regular season and potted nine more in the playoffs.

Noah Gregor found the back of the net for the Western Hockey League champion Raiders.

Ian Scott stopped 33-of-36 shots in defeat.

Round-robin play at the national major junior hockey championship continues Saturday with the Ontario Hockey League champion Guelph Storm against the QMJHL champion Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, who beat the Mooseheads for the President’s Cup only on Saturday.

Halifax Mooseheads’ Maxim Trepanier, left, is hit by Prince Albert’s Noah Gregor in the opener of the Memorial Cup on Friday. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)