In the tiebreaker game of the 2013 Memorial Cup, the London Knights defeated the Saskatoon Blades by a score of 6-1 to advance to the semifinals round.
Six different players scored for London, as they attacked Saskatoon's weak defense at virtual will. Paired with a masterful performance by goaltender Jake Patterson, London was simply too much for Saskatoon to handle.
Patterson stopped 32 of the 33 shots he faced.
Amongst the notable goal scorers were London's Seth Griffin and Nikita Zakarov, who have combined for five total goals at the Memorial Cup. Highly-touted center Max Domi picked up an assist, while Bo Horvat and Chris Tierney each tallied a goal and an assist.
Nathan Burns scored the lone goal for Saskatoon.
As a result of their victory, the Knights will move on to the semifinals and play the Portland Winterhawks. Portland won the first meeting by a score of 6-3, which London will likely push out of their memories as they compete for the Memorial Cup crown.
It all started tonight, and how much more impressive could they have been?
Full Memorial Cup Schedule
|Tiebreaker:||Saskatoon Blades (1)||London Knights (6)||Thursday, May 23||8 p.m. ET|
|Semifinals:||London Knights||Portland Winterhawks||Friday, May 24||8 p.m. ET|
|Finals||TBD||Halifax Mooseheads||Sunday, May 26||7 p.m. ET|
With the opportunity to make their way into the semifinals of the 2013 Memorial Cup, one might expect a highly competitive game. While the effort may have been present, there was hardly any moment beyond the first period that placed the outcome in doubt.
It was all about offensive firepower.
During the first period, Bo Horvat capitalized on an early penalty shot to find the back of the net and put London up 1-0 just 3:05 in. Andrey Makarov settled down for the rest of the period, but Jake Patterson just wasn't going to allow an equalizer.
After one period of play, London was in control.
Saksatoon played horrendous defense during the second period, allowing 21 shots on goal. Makarov did all he could to protect the net, but Seth Griffin capitalized on the offensive onslaught by scoring his third goal of the Memorial Cup off of assists from Alex Broadhurst and Olli Maatta.
Less than one minute later, Chris Tienery scored off of assists from Max Domi and Broadhurst to give London a 3-0 lead—you can't blame a goaltender who faces 21 shots in one period for that.
Ryan Rupert wasted no time in piling on the goals, finding the back of the net off assists from Tierney and Matt Rupert. Thirty-seven seconds later, Kyle Platzer netted one off feeds from Josh Anderson and Brett Welychka.
We aren't making this up—29 seconds later, Nikita Zadorov scored another goal for London off assists from Brett Welychka and Bo Horvat.
For those who weren't counting, that's three goals in the span of one minute and six seconds. That also put London up 6-0 and thus led to Makarov being pulled from net.
It was a strong effort by Makarov, but after a grueling second period, there just wasn't anything left in the tank.
Nathan Burns scored his first goal of the Memorial Cup with an assist from Lukas Sutter, but it just wasn't enough for Saskatoon. They trailed 6-1 and could not overcome London's furious offense and the holes in their own defense.
The Knights now move on to the semifinals, where they'll play Seth Jones and the Portland Winterhawks.