The QMJHL's St John Sea Dogs defeated the OHL's Mississauga St Mikes Majors 3-1 to capture the Memorial Cup last night in Mississauga. It was the first time ever a squad from Atlantic Canada has ever won junior hockey's top prize, and the first time since 2006 a team from the QMJHL has won the championship.
Jonathan Huberdeau reaffirmed his position as a possible top 3 pick in the NHL Entry Draft with his performance, which he capped off by winning the Most Valuable Player Award.
This game was the epitome of veterans versus "kid". The Majors had come into this tournament as the most experienced team while the Sea Dogs came in with the most draft eligible players. In fact, the Sead Dogs had twice as many players that could be taken in the 2011 NHL Draft than any other two teams combined.
Simon Despres got it all rolling 2:24 into the contest with a brilliant individual effort while shorthanded. Zack Phillips would make it 2-0 at 13:17 to close out the first period scoring. It was Phillips first of the tournament with Huberdeau and Michael Kirkpatrick drawing the assists.
With just over 5 minutes remaining in the second, Riley Brace would score his first from Justin Shugg and Casey Cizikas to pull the Majors within one.
The Majors came at the Sea Dogs in waves during that second period and continued it into the third. If not for the goaltending heroics of Jacob Deserres, the result could have been different. Deserres was a third round draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers two seasons ago, and the Flyers chose not to sign him. Most will remember him from last years Memorial Cup where he gave up 9 goals to Taylor Hall and the Windsor Spitfires in the Cup Final. This victory comes as sweet revenge for Deserres.
Other award winners for the Memorial Cup were:
Andrew Shaw, Owen Sound Attack - Ed Chynoweth Trophy - Top Scorer
Marc Cantin, Mississauga St Mikes Majors - George Parsons Trophy - Most Sportsmanlike Player
Jordan Binnington, Owen Sound Attack - Hap Emms Trophy - Outstanding goaltender
The Memorial Cup All Star Team is as follows:
Goaltender - Jordan Binnington, Owen Sound
Defence - Stuart Percy, Mississauga
Defence - Nathan Beaulieu. St John
Forward - Andrew Shaw, Owen Sound
Forward - Devante Smith Pelly, Mississauga
Forward - Jonathan Huberdeau, St John