Game 1 of the 2014 Memorial Cup is in the books and the host team was left feeling like they got a raw deal after they were shutout by the QMJHL champions. Despite being tired from their recent QMJHL playoff battle the Val d’Or Foreurs managed to drag out a tight 1-0 victory of the host London Knights.
Anthony Mantha of all players scored the games only goal to help solidify the win for the Foreurs, however this night did not belong to Mantha, it belonged to his netminder.
Instead of getting into a full blown recap of game one of the Memorial Cup, we’re going to go over a few key points or moments from game one instead. Since there wasn’t a lot of scoring, it makes tonight’s game a little more interesting and helps breakdown the key moments.
- Heading into the Memorial Cup all eyes were on Anthony Mantha. How well he performed would be directly related to how far the Foreurs would go in the tournament. However, it was goaltender Antoine Bibeau who stole the show in game 1. The Knights outshot the Foreurs 20-9 in the first period, yet they found themselves trailing the heavily outshot team from Quebec. As the game went on the Knights fired 51 shots at Bibeau, including a penalty shot, which the netminder all stopped earning a 51 save shutout in game 1 of the Memorial Cup.
- By the time the third period rolled around the Foreurs, who have had the least amount of rest of any of the four teams, certainly looked tired. They began losing battle for pucks and were just holding onto their one goal lead with about 5 minutes to go. However, Bibeau stood tall and helped drag out the win for his teammates.
- Despite netting only one goal, Mantha looked solid out there in game one. He scored the games only goal and was floating all over the ice at both ends. He hit a post and nearly added an empty netter late in the game, but was pivotal in the last minute helping his team drag out the W.
- The Knights did not lose due to lack of chances, having put 51 shots on net. Their big guns were unable to muster any successful offence which they’ve been known for. Whether they ran into a hot goaltender or were a little rusty, the Knights will need to remember how to score if they expect to go deep in their third consecutive Memorial Cup tournament.
Both teams will get a rest until Sunday when London squares off against Edmonton.