Sunday, May 25, 2014

Oil Kings Are Kings Of The CHL

The Edmonton Oil Kings are Memorial Cup champions.

The Oil Kings, who booked their ticket to the championship game with a triple-overtime victory in Friday’s semi-final, defeated the well-rested Guelph Storm 6-3 on Sunday to win the first Canadian Hockey League title in the franchise’s modern history.

Guelph opened the scoring and had a 2-1 lead after one but could not contain the determined Oil Kings. Edmonton scored three times in the second period, added another two in the third, and goaltender Tristan Jarry did a solid job at keeping the Western Hockey League champs in front.

Jarry made 32 saves in the win while Justin Nichols made 39 in the loss. Henrik Samuelsson was named the game’s first star with two goals and three assists.

The win was impressive on several fronts, most notably because of how little rest the Oil Kings had compared to the Storm. Guelph was also playing in a familiar building in front of plenty of their fans - but it was not meant to be this year for the OHL champs.

It’s the first Memorial Cup title for the WHL since the 2008 Spokane Chiefs, ending the drought/curse that started after the Chiefs dropped the trophy and broke it during on-ice celebrations.

Some other notes…

  • Val-d’Or goaltender Antoine Bibeau was named the tournament’s top goaltender. He was also the only QMJHL player on the tournament all-star team.
  • The Memorial Cup all-star team: Antoine Bibeau, Cody Corbett, Matt Finn, Edgars Kulda, Kerby Rychel, and Henrik Samuelsson.
  • The OHL has not won the Memorial Cup since the 2010 Windsor Spitfires. It’s been a rough few years for the league.
  • No “Shoot for a Million” contest this year. Worst Memorial Cup ever.
  • Not a lot of off-ice drama at this year’s Memorial Cup. That will surely return when the Quebec Remparts host next season.
  • And so ends the 2013-14 CHL season. It was okay. Here’s to a better 2014-15. 

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