|« Doyle: Halifax captures 2013 Memorial Cup||Doyle: London survives tie-breaker, semi-final on deck »|
Last year, the London Knights dropped a heart-breaker in overtime at the MasterCard Memorial Cup final. This year, they won't get the chance for revenge in the Championship Game....
Ty Rattie's goal at 8:32 of the third period proved to be the winner as the Portland Winterhawks edged the Knights 2-1 in the Memorial Cup semi-final. Max Domi opened the scoring for the Knights with a second period powerplay goal before Tyler Wotherspoon responded just over two minutes later.
The final moments of the game were frantic as the Knights had chanced to bang home a second goal. This came after Rattie looked to ice the game into an empty net, but his shot was stopped by Knights forward Seth Griffith.
"Ty Rattie likes to get the people watching, get the ratings up," Winterhawks goalie Mac Carruth joked about the empty net chance. "He played great, key goal from a big guy there. I thought (Seth Jones) was lights out, like he has been all tournament. Our big guys were our big guys tonight and that's what it takes to win hockey games."
"We definitely had the will tonight, just couldn't get the bounces," said Knights forward Ryan Rupert. "The puck was hopping and we didn't make the most of our chances."
The Knights came out playing a tight trapping game, looking to limit Portland's offence. After exchanging goals in the second, Rattie got the puck in the high slot and buried a shot over the shoulder of Knights starter Jake Patterson for the winning goal.
"Both teams played hard, Rattie made a hell of a shot and that ended up being the difference," added Knights Coach Dale Hunter.
The Memorial Cup semi-final was the 94th game of the season for the London Knights - combining regular season, playoffs and Memorial Cup play. This comes on the heels of last year's run to the Memorial Cup final. It would be understandable if some of the players were running on empty. But the back-to-back OHL champions seemed disappointed, yet content after it was all over.
"I'm proud of the boys and couldn't ask for a better season," - Ryan Rupert
"I thought we gave ourselves a chance every game, it doesn't make it any easier to swallow. I think we can hold our heads held high that we left it all on the ice." - Knights Captain Scott Harrington
"It was a tremendous year, we had an awesome group of guys. I'll be friends with these guys forever." - Alex Broadhurst
"The character always comes out at the end. I can't say enough about the players, they gave it right to the end. You saw it so many times we came from behind. Their goalie played well and made the big saves at the end of the game." - Dale Hunter
The Winterhawks will now play the QMJHL Champion Halifax Mooseheads in the Championship Game Sunday. London now looks towards the 2013-14 season - which will wrap up with the 96th Memorial Cup tournament, being hosted at Budweiser Gardens.
No feedback yet
Comments are not allowed from anonymous visitors.