The Memorial Cup journey is over for the London Knights and the Edmonton Oil Kings are thanking the Guelph Storm for not taking the night off. Jeesh I mentioned almost every Memorial Cup team from 2014 in that last sentence and that’s because tonights game was important for 3 of the four teams involved in this years tournament.
If the London Knights has managed to win their final game they would have still been alive and likely had to battle the Edmonton Oil Kings in the tie breaker. However, because the Knights lost, they are eliminated from the 2014 Memorial Cup and the Oil Kings will have a rematch against the Val d’Or Foreurs to see who earns a birth in the finals against the dominate Guelph Storm. Got all that? Good!
Here’s some of the main factors from tonight’s game.
- The question which will haunt the London Knights for the rest of the year is why they did not take the opportunity to upgrade their goaltending at the OHL trade deadline. Neither Jake Patterson nor Anthony Stolarz were good enough to get the job done for the talented Knights this season. Both looked suspect and both got action in tonights must win game. Generally when two goalies play in a must win game, things are going well. The two netminders combined for 7 goals against on the night and have to be held responsible for the Knights lack of success in the Memorial Cup.
- As much as the goaltenders have to hold some weight for their lacklustre tournament, their top offencive guys didn’t step up. Through their 3 games the Knights scored just 4 goals, simply not good enough. Max Domi, the Rupert twins and captain Chris Tierny all finished the tournament with a combined 0 goals. When your stars are not producing, it’s really tough to win games and that’s what happened with the Knights.
- However, let’s give the Guelph Storm some credit. They easily could have taken the night off and rested their key guys for the final on Sunday, instead they came out guns a blazing, lighting up the Storm for 7 goals. Forward Scott Kosmachuk netted a hat trick in the final round robin game and Tyler Bertuzzi pitched in with 2 goals of his own.
- Once again the Knight mustered a ton of offence in their game, however they couldn’t find the back of the net. They fired 47 shots on the Storm’s net but Justin Nichols stood strong. The Knights couldn’t find a way to beat the opposing netminders and with their suspect goaltending it wasn’t a good picture.
- Tonight once again proved just how dominate the Storm’s offence truly is. The one thing the Storm had to worry about was their defence, however their goal scoring has been able to cover up any defence and goaltending errors. The Storm have recorded 18 goals through their Memorial Cup tournament.