2004 Memorial Cup Winners
The 2004 Memorial Cup will forever hold a place in the hearts of Kelowna hockey fans. The city hosted the event, and the hockey world was watching as the Rockets won the championship on home ice.
The 2004 Kelowna Rockets were captained by hometown boy Josh Gorges, who was trying to lead his team to a championship in what would be his final days of junior hockey. Goaltender Kelly Guard was having a record-breaking year, posting 13 shutouts in the regular season on his way to a 44-14-4 record and 1.56 GAA. Head coach Marc Habscheid had his team playing a gritty, defensive style with an unrivalled commitment to outworking opponents. The team’s blueline was anchored by Gorges, Brett Palin, Mike Card, and a Sicamous kid named Shea Weber. Weber, as an 18-year-old, led the Rockets in playoff scoring, with 17 points in 17 games.
Taking on the Guelph Storm, Gatineau Olympiques, and Medicine Hat Tigers, the Rockets proved to be more than up to the task of taking on the nation’s best. Kelowna went undefeated in round robin play, with Guard allowing just two goals in three games. Facing Gatineau in the Memorial Cup final, the Rockets again shut the door, beating the QMJHL champs 2-1.
Guard was named the tournament MVP and top goaltender, while Gorges was named the most sportsmanlike player. Guard, Weber, and Randall Gelech were named to the Memorial Cup All-Star team.