May 30, 2005

MEMORIAL CUP - London Wins!

Subtitle: Congratulations London! The Knights shut out Rimouski (4-0) to cap of a very impressive season.

London Knights are 2005 Memorial Cup Champions
[via Ottawa 67s, photo by Claus Andersen.]

Rimouski London
See CHL Memorial Cup site for game summary here and for game recap here.

From the Toronto Sun Ken Fidlin writes, Best junior team ever?.

From the London Free Press Jim Cressman writes, Simply the best. Cressman also writes, Cup win gives Syvret, Perry rare junior hockey double. Snippet:

"I don't know if you can get a better year in junior hockey," said Syvret, the Knights captain, who happened to score the winning goal against Russia in the gold-medal game at the world juniors in Grand Forks, N.D.

"Being non-drafted and making the world juniors and winning the gold medal, then coming here and having the season we've had in London and being the Memorial Cup champions, I don't think you can ever top that."

And another by Cressman, Dennis passes praises to mates after rare shutout. Snippet:

Adam Dennis took a draw off a cigar last night and it gave him a head rush.

But that was nothing compared to the rush he was getting from his shutout in the Memorial Cup championship game.

The London Knights goalie is only the second to register a shutout in the final since the tournament format was adopted in 1972. He also won the Hap Emms Trophy as the tournament's top goalie.

From the Toronto Sun Terry Koshan writes, Tired Crosby held in check. Snippet:

"They limited space out there," Crosby said. "They do a good job of holding up. They knew what we could do with our speed and they slowed us right down. Give them credit, they did a good job.["]

Love good sportsmanship. It makes them bigger in my eyes. And Koshan also writes, Yes, Sirs!.

From the London Free Press Jim Kernaghan writes, In the end, Knights deliver perfection.

From the London Free Press Kathy Rumleski writes, Branch gives glowing review.

The game was broadcast on radio (TEAM 1200/Dave Schreiber and AJ Jakubec) and television (Sportsnet/Daren Millard, Peter Loubardias, and John Druce).


Roussin, Crosby, Pouliot
Tobin, Stewart, Hrdel
Cote, Charette, Neilson(?)
Aspirot, Arsenault, Bachand

*Defensive Pairings:
Coulombe, Scalzo
J-M Bolduc, Sersen
Tremblay, F Bolduc

*Starting In Goal:
Desjardins. Filiatrault as back up.

Prust, Larman, Kell
Hunter, Boland, Perry
Fritsche, Schremp, Drummond
Beaulieu, Foreman, Thomson
(changes to lines – had Fritsche, Schremp, Perry line)

*Defensive Pairings:
Girardi, Methot
Rodney, Syvret
Ferry, McCready(?)

*Starting In Goal:
Dennis. Coleman as back up.

First Period. The JLC was green – and you could sense the energy even watching the game on television. Both teams seemed quite jumpy, and nerves may have played a large part. The penalty calls started early, with Rimouski giving London the first PP (a 5-on-3 at that) when Neilson punched C. Perry after the play had stopped. It was a terrible thing for Neilson to do, catching Perry totally unaware: Perry skating and looking down the ice and Neilson, who was going off, jabbed out at Perry catching him in the lower face and neck area. Totally uncalled for. Perry went down and Brankley came out to assist him off the ice. While he was down for some time, he wasn’t hurt badly and was back out for the first shift of the PP. Of course, if you give London a 2-man advantage (or is it now called “man-power” advantage – we listened to the television broadcast this time since no Schreibs or AJ) you know they’re going to score. Fritsche shot on Desjardins, and the puck squeaked through. Dennis was given an assist on the goal. London was up 1-0. Fritsche was called for goaltender interference, no doubt he was going to watched closely for this, d/t his rough treatment of Desjardins in their first meeting. London did a good job on the PK. Both teams seemed very strong on the puck – good with passing and puck handling through checks – and it was nice to see an even match up this way. However, London was having more luck around Rimouski’s net. During a number of PP chances, Schremp had goals hit the crossbar or come close. He just couldn’t seem to bury it. Rodney scored to make it 2-0, when he rushed to the net to get to a rebound. The play was started by Fritsche who passed it out to Schremp. The initial shot was stopped by Desjardins, but Rodney came rushing into the offensive zone and was in the perfect spot to get to the rebound. It was a nice play all around. (And it was good to see Rodney having a good game after the last stinker!) London did a great job of containing Rimouski’s top 5. And when Rimouski did get their shots through, Dennis was steady and making the saves. Both teams had 3 PP opportunities, but only London converted. Final SOG were 10 for Rimouski and 13 for London. London was up 2-0.

Second Period. Rimouski was on the PP to start the period, but continued having no luck capitalizing. Schremp hit another one off the crossbar and missed a wide open net. On the next London PP, they made short work of it: all players were scrambling in front of the net, Desjardins lost his stick, and Bolland scored. Rimouski complained that the play should have been stopped as Desjardins had the puck covered (at least that’s what the tv guys were saying), so they went to goal review. It clearly showed the puck – not covered – and Bolland getting a legitimate goal. London went up 3-0. Rimouski put on a bit of pressure after the third London goal: keeping the puck in the Knight’s zone, cycling the puck, but they had no luck. Foreman, attempting to lay a big hit on a Rimouski player who moved out of the way, hit the glass hard with his elbow and head. Brankley came out to assist him. It looked like he had concussed himself. Bolduc then hit C. Perry with his stick on the bridge of Perry’s nose, causing it to bleed. No penalty was called. Perry was taking a lot of abuse in this game, and to his credit (yes, I mean that) he didn’t resort to any shenanigans. (And note that THIS is how we want him to play. Classy. Takes stuff for the good of the team. Shows his dominance through his skills.) Just as the buzzer went to signal the end of the period, Hicks called a penalty on London. SOG were 14 (24) for Rimouski and 19 (32) for London. London was up 3-0.

Third Period. Rimouski stated off on the PP but were not able to do anything. In fact, Bolland got a SH chance, but was tripped up as he got to the net and wasn’t able to get the shot off. And Schremp finally scored to make it 4-0. He intercepted a bad pass by Rimouski. The Oceanic pulled Desjardins at this point, with Filiatrault in to replace him. Desjardins was visibly upset – his blocker covered his face and his shoulders shook as he sat on the bench. He didn’t take his mask off for the rest of the game, including the post-game handshake. A really sad sight to see, as he’s played so well throughout the tournament. Aspirot and Prust tussled. Rimouski was done at this point. They were starting to lose their composure. They knocked Schremp’s helmet off and then elbowed C. Perry high from behind. The crowd started the ‘na-na goodbye’ chant around 7 minutes and revived it again at 4 minutes to go. Then they started with ‘we want the cup’ at just over 2 minutes. The Knights continued keeping Rimouski’s top guys – Crosby, Pouliot, Roussin, Scalzo, and Coulombe – contained and off the score sheet until the final buzzer. Final SOG were 27 for Rimouski and 34 for London. London went on to win 4-0. An absolutely dominating finish from a team expected to win it all. And they did. Congratulations to the Knights and to London fans. Enjoy it!

No scoring.

1, Fritsche, (3) (Syvret, Dennis), 03:45 (PP)
1, Rodney, (1) (Schremp, Fritsche), 17:00
2, Bolland, (1) (Fritsche, Rodney), 02:48 (PP)
3, Schremp, (1) (Perry), 02:34

Rimouski PP opportunities – 0/4
London PP opportunities – 2/7

1 - Cote, 2:26 - Cross Checking, 2min (PP)
1 - Neilson, 2:26 - Cross Checking, 2min (PP)
1 - Neilson, 2:26 - 10-Minute Misconduct, 10min
1 - Scalzo, 11:50 - Cross Checking, 2min (PP)
1 - Stewart, 14:09 - Unsportsmanlike Cnd., 2min
2 - Bolduc, 2:16 - Cross Checking, 2min (PP)
2 - Crosby, 12:10 - Hooking, 2min (PP)
3 - Crosby, 4:56 - High Sticking, 2min
3 - Aspirot, 4:56 - Major-Fighting, 5min
3 - Coulombe, 5:46 - Holding, 2min (PP)
3 - Bolduc, 9:06 - Cross Checking, 2min (PP)

1 - Bolland, 2:26 - 10-Minute Misconduct, 10min
1 - Fritsche, 5:10 - Inter. on Goaltender, 2min (PP)
1 - Drummond, 14:09 - Hooking, 2min
1 - Prust, 14:45 - Tripping, 2min (PP)
1 - Methot, 18:34 - Elbowing, 2min (PP)
2 - Hunter, 20:00 - Hooking, 2min (PP)
3 - Hunter, 4:56 - High Sticking, 2min
3 - Prust, 4:56 - Major-Fighting, 5min

Memorial Cup three stars were: (1) Fritsche-LON, (2) Rodney-LON, and (3) Dennis-LON.

Mark Hicks, OHL.


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