It was the end to a fantastic display of Canada’s elite major junior hockey teams, and more specifically, of the London Knights’ domination of the CHL this year as they capped off a record breaking season.
The Knights won a lot of games this season, but it was the 79th of those wins that counted the most as they out-classed Sidney Crosby and the Rimouski Oceanic on Sunday, cruising to a 4-0 win.
Unfortunately for Crosby and his linemates Marc-Antoine Pouliot and Dany Roussin, the top scoring line that combined for 29 points in 5 games, the Oceanic were never really in the game right from the start.
About two minutes in, Rimouski’s Eric Neilson sucker-punched London’s Corey Perry while the play was dead and helped his team to a 5-on-3 disadvantage, which London would capitalize on and never look back.
London’s rock solid defensive pairing of Marc Methot, the hero of game one, and captain Danny Syvret didn’t give Crosby, Pouliot or Roussin any room to mount an assault and soon penalties would take their toll on the Oceanic’s last hopes at glory.
The crowd of near 10,000 went wild in anticipation as the last minute ticked off the clock, and erupted in a sea of green and white as the player’s toppled goaltender Adam Dennis who stopped all 27 Rimouski shots to earn a Memorial Cup final shutout.
The reception was just about as loud when number 94 Corey Perry, who took a lot of abuse and was the target of many cheap shots throughout the game, was presented with the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as tournament MVP.
The city of London waited 40 years for this day, and it was a day that capped off a season that won’t soon be forgotten – the records shattered, the first OHL Championship and now, the first Memorial Cup; it certainly was, a night to remember for the Knights, and one to think about for the lowly Oceanic.
2005 Memorial Cup Award winners
-Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy (Most Valuable Player)-
Corey Perry, London Knights
-Ed Chynoweth Trophy (Top Scorer)-
Sidney Crosby, Rimouski Oceanic
-George Parsons Trophy (Most Sportsmanlike Player)-
Marc-Antoine Pouliot, Rimouski Oceanic
-Hap Emms Memorial Trophy (Top Goaltender)-
Adam Dennis, London Knights