Shawinigan Shocks London To Win Memorial Cup

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Shawinigan Shocks London to Win Memorial Cup May 28, 2012 7:14 AM

Shock, we have all felt it.

The London Knights are feeling it this morning. It was the first overtime in nine tournament games and it came with Shawinigan playing a fourth game in five nights.

After Forty Three Years, the Cataractes were crowned MasterCard Memorial Cup champion for the first time in franchise history after a 2-1 victory over the London Knights.

The Cataractes are the only founding franchise still intact from when the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League was formed in 1969, but had never claimed the nation’s top junior hockey prize.

Zlobin took a pass from behind the net from captain Michael Bournival and drilled a quick shot that beat Knights goaltender Michael Houser and sent the sellout crowd into a frenzy. The Cataractes’ forward leapt into the air before he was mobbed by teammates on the ice. Zlobin had tied the game in the second period after Ryan Rupert scored in the first for the Ontario Hockey League champion Knights.

More than 5,000 fans were crammed into the 4,125-seat Bionest Centre, crowding into standing room and even sitting in the stairways.

Final shots were 36-35 for Shawinigan.

The Knights executed their trap and counterattack game to perfection, taking a 13-4 lead in shots in the opening period and scoring the first goal. Strong forechecking produced the chance, as Matt Rupert set up his twin brother Ryan from behind the net 5:42 into the game.

Shawinigan did not get a shot on goal in the opening 10 minutes.

The Cataractes picked up the tempo in the second period and tied the game when Kirill Kabanov’s shot went off Tommy Hughes’ stick to the crease for Zlobin to put in at 3:01.

There were glittering chances in a fast-paced third period, especially the Knights’ best unit of Austin Watson with the Rupert brothers, who failed to bury a handful of chances.

It was the first final to go to overtime since 2001, when Red Deer beat Val d’Or.

The tournament all-star team had Houser in goal, with London’s Jarred Tinordi and Shawinigan’s Brando Gormley on defence, and Chaput, Watson and Edmonton’s Henrik Samuelsson as forwards.

Next year’s Memorial Cup will be in Saskatoon.

Notes: The co-presidents of honour of the tournament, Montreal Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur and president Geoff Molson, took part in pre-game ceremonies with ex-Canadiens Yvan Cournoyer… They got to see two teams with a Canadiens prospect as captain: Jarred Tinordi of the Knights and Bournival of the Cataractes.

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