Saturday, May 19, 2012


Saint John Sea Dogs vs London Knights
2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup – Round-Robin
Tonight at 8:00pm
Radio: News 88.9; Fan 590 | TV: Sportsnet; TVA Sports | Live Blog: Yahoo!
Bionest Centre – Shawinigan, Que.

SHAWINIGAN, Que. – Two of the Canadian Hockey League’s most successful franchises over the last decade square off at the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup tonight.

Tonight at 8pm Atlantic (News 88; Sportsnet), the defending Memorial Cup champion Saint John Sea Dogs battle the Ontario Hockey League London Knights. The two teams have been ranked among the CHL’s best all season long.

The Knights had the best record during the OHL’s regular season, going 49-18-0-1 for 99 points. They needed just 19 games to win the OHL title, including a five-game series win over the Niagara IceDogs in the league final.

The Sea Dogs had the best record during the QMJHL’s regular season, going 50-15-0-3 for 103 points. They needed just 17 games to win the QMJHL title which includes a four-game sweep of the Rimouski Oceanic in the league final.

Since the 2004-05 season, the Knights have won a Memorial Cup, two OHL championships, appeared in the OHL final three times and made it to the semifinal five times. Over that same time span, the Sea Dogs have won a Memorial Cup, two QMJHL championships, appeared in the QMJHL final three times, and made it to the semifinal four times.

Some are saying this year’s Memorial Cup is the best since 2005, a tournament the Knights won on home ice. London went undefeated in the ’05 tournament, beating the QMJHL representative, the Rimouski Oceanic, twice en route to their first national championship.

At last year’s Memorial Cup, the Sea Dogs had quite a bit of success against the two OHL teams in the tournament. They went 3-0 against OHL teams which included a 2-0 record against the host Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors.

This year’s Sea Dogs are led by a strong offensive core led by Jonathan Huberdeau, Charlie Coyle, and Stanislav Galiev while the Knights feature a strong defense core in Jarred Tinordi, Scott Harrington, and goaltender Michael Houser.

This will be Saint John’s toughest test so far this season. Buckle up.

Here’s Sportsnet’s game preview. Who will win: Saint John’s offense or London’s defense?

London: Defeated Windsor 4-0 (Round One), defeated Saginaw 4-2 (Round Two), defeated Kitchener 4-0 (Round Three) and defeated Niagara 4-1 (J. Ross Robertson Cup)

Saint John: Defeated Cape Breton 4-0 (Round One), defeated Baie-Comeau 4-0 (Round Two), defeated Chicoutimi 4-1 (Round Three), and defeated Rimouski 4-0 (President's Cup Final).

  • Seth Griffith finished tied for first in playoff power play goals in the OHL with five.
  • Olli Maatta was second in playoff power play assists with 10.
  • Vladislav Namestnikov finished in a tie for first for game winning goals in the playoffs with four.
  • Jarred Tinordi was an OHL best +15 in the playoffs.
  • Maatta had 23 points in the playoffs, leading all OHL rookies.
  • Namestnikov had two shorthanded assists, the most in the playoffs.
  • Michael Houser had the second best save percentage in the playoffs with a rating of 0.928.
  • Griffith finished third in goals in the regular season with 45.
  • Greg McKegg and Griffith both had 15 power play goals in the regular season, tying them for second.
  • Griffith had eight game winning goals in the regular season, tying him for first.
  • Tinordi was a league best +39.

Saint John’s next game is on Monday night against Edmonton.

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