On Sunday evening, the Ontario Hockey League champion London Knights played their closest game in nearly two months. After storming through the round robin at the Memorial Cup in Red Deer, the Knights ran into stiff competition in the final – taking on the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.
With the Huskies up 2-1 late in the third period, Aaron Berisha fed Christian Dvorak in front of the Rouyn net for the game tying goal. As the two teams headed to overtime, the game was up for grabs with history not in the Knights’ corner.
Just under eight minutes into overtime, however, the Knights’ Matthew Tkachuk made a move just inside the blue line before firing over the shoulder of Huskies’ goalie Chase Marchand. The goal gave the Knights a 3-2 overtime win and their second Memorial Cup in franchise history.
The goal sent the Knights into a frenzy and it wasn’t long before fans of the team and the rest of the hockey world took to Twitter.
Topping off a great year. Congrats @GoLondonKnights mem cup champs tho 🏆
— Nazem Kadri (@43_Kadri) May 29, 2016
Congratulations to London Knights 2016 #MCMemorialCup Champions!! They've been incredibly dominant for the last two months. Outstanding run
— Ryan Yessie (@RyanYessie) May 29, 2016
Spectacular ending to an amazing season. Congrats to the London Knights!
— SJ (@sarahjeanmaher) May 29, 2016
London Knights are champions!!!!!!! #MCMemorialCup
— NormanJamesCTV (@NormanJamesCTV) May 29, 2016
— Brandon Crawley (@crawldiddy14) May 30, 2016
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) May 30, 2016
Mitch Marner's basement pic.twitter.com/Qbc7HOzhlJ
— The_Road_Guy (@The_Road_Guy) May 30, 2016
Congratulations to the @GoLondonKnights and former Wolf Chad Heffernan on capturing the 98th Memorial Cup!
— Sudbury Wolves (@Sudbury_Wolves) May 29, 2016
The Knights finished the year on a 17-game winning streak through the OHL playoffs and into the Memorial Cup. Toronto Maple Leafs’ prospect Mitch Marner fell two points shy of tying the tournament’s all-time record for points and, in doing so, won the Memorial Cup MVP award.
While some of the players won’t be back again in 2016-17, including the possibility of Marner sticking with the Leafs, the Knights will surely be a favourite to come out of the OHL once again next season.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.