(Photo: Lucas Chudleigh/Appollo Multimedia)
PRINCE ALBERT - The drought is over for the Prince Albert Raiders.
Dante Hannoun scored 18:25 into overtime as the Raiders downed the Vancouver Giants 3-2 on Monday in Game 7 of the Western Hockey League Championship to capture the Ed Chynoweth Cup and advance to the Memorial Cup.
The victory marked the first time the Raiders have won the WHL title since 1985. Prince Albert won the Memorial Cup that year under then head coach and general manager Terry Simpson.
This year's Memorial Cup starts Friday and runs to May 26 in Halifax. Prince Albert opens the tournament Friday against the host Mooseheads.
Noah Gregor scored twice for the Raiders on Monday night while Milos Roman scored twice for the Giants.
Ian Scott, who has a signed NHL entry-level contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, made 24 saves in goal for the Raiders. David Tendeck turned away 37 shots for Vancouver.
Monday's game marked the first time Prince Albert clinched a playoff series on home ice since 2005, when the Raiders defeated the Medicine Hat Tigers 3-0 in Game 6 of a second-round series.
The Raiders and Giants were the WHL's top two teams during the regular season.
Prince Albert topped the standings with a 54-10-4 record and was rated second in the final CHL Top 10 rankings. Vancouver finished second overall in the WHL at 48-15-5 and ranked sixth.
The Raiders eliminated the Red Deer Rebels, Saskatoon Blades and Edmonton Oil Kings on their way to the WHL final. The Giants eliminated the Seattle Thunderbirds, Victoria Royals and Spokane Chiefs.
Vancouver last won the WHL title in 2006 and last won the Memorial Cup in 2007 as the host team.
The QMJHL champion Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and the OHL champion Guelph Storm round out the field at this year's Memorial Cup.
(Canadian Press/Darren Steinke)