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Memorial Cup: Knights come from behind to win 2016 Memorial Cup

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After being down 2-1, the London Knights came from behind scoring two unanswered goals to defeat the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and win the 2016 Memorial Cup.

Mitchell Marner #93 and Christian Dvorak #10 of the London Knights (OHL) celebrate after defeating the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL) during the Memorial Cup Final on May 29, 2016 at the Enmax Centrium in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.
Mitchell Marner #93 and Christian Dvorak #10 of the London Knights (OHL) celebrate after defeating the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL) during the Memorial Cup Final on May 29, 2016 at the Enmax Centrium in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.
Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

The last time the Knights and Huskies squared off, there were a total of 18 penalties called including three in the first five minutes of the game.

However, this afternoon's matchup between the two squads in the Memorial Cup Final proved to be quite different. The teams each had an opportunity to get their legs underneath them.

The game stated with great pace, and it wasn't until the 9:19 mark in the second period when someone found the back of the net. Matthew Tkachuk did what he does best, and made a nice move to beat Husky G Chase Marchand.

15 seconds later, the Huskies responded with a Francis Perron tally and from that point on, no matter what the Knights threw at the Huskies nothing was going in. At the 9:13 mark of the third, Julien Nantel scored for the country's top ranked Huskies, and many thought that the game was over.

For the first time in 17 games, it looked like the Knights were going to be knocked off the top of their castle.

However, that all changed when London's Christian Dvorak received a filthy backhand pass from Aaron Berisha who was behind the net and he didn't make a mistake burying. Now being a tie-game, the Knights continued to push.

"Down 2-1 late we knew we could come back and win this game," said Mitch Marner. "It's been one hell of a ride my three years here.

"We never gave up on each other."

When the OT period began, the Knights looked like they got their oranges and juice boxes in during their break.

It took only 7:49 for the game winner to be scored, and 2016 draft eligible Matthew Tkachuk found the back of the net on an unreal shot.

Nice shot indeed.

The London Knights secured their place in Memorial Cup history with this win and are responsible for what is one of the most dominant performances ever.

"I tripped over myself," said Matthew Tkachuk after the game when talking about his game-winner. "It's the happiest I've ever been."

"We've been down in games before and we won 17 straight for a reason."

Following the game, Knights Head Coach Dale Hunter had rave reviews on Matthew Tkachuk:

"He just doesn't get goals from shooting off the rush like he did with the winning goal," said Hunter. "He gets tips in front he plays hard minutes in front of the net.

"He gets goals off the rush and also dirty ones so he is a complete player that way."

Upcoming in this years entry draft, the Oilers hold the fourth overall selection and will have an opportunity to draft the son of former NHL'er Keith Tkachuk. Despite the dire need of defensive help, the Oilers could help replenish their prospect pool by selecting the rugged winger.

"It's an unbelievable feeling watching him," said Keith Tkachuk following the game in a one-on-one interview. "He wanted to come up here and his goal was to win.

"He comes up big and that's what he does."

Playing in what will be his final junior hockey game, Knights defenceman Jacob Graves was effective all-night in helping limit the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. The 20-year old is currently undrafted, but looking to go pro next year or play in the CIS. 

"I got brought in here in January [via trade] and right away I knew there was something special with this group of guys," said Graves.

"I got a message as soon as I got traded from Marner just welcoming me to the team."

For these young men, their time as junior hockey player will always be remembered by the dominating performance they put on in the OHL Playoffs and in the Memorial Cup.

Thanks to everyone for following along the past 12 days, it's been a blast.


I was credentialed and live covering the 2016 Memorial Cup in Red Deer.

Here is all my work at this year's Memorial Cup:
Knights surge past the Rebels 6-2 in the tournament's opening game - Beer League Heroes, May 21.
Conner Bleackley shines in first game in over two months - Copper and Blue, May 21.
Should the Oilers be looking at drafting Kale Clague? - Beer League Heroes, May 22.
Top lines from the Knights and Rebels dominate at the Memorial Cup - Copper and Blue, May 23.
Rebels top line of Helewka, Philp and DeBrusk lead the host squad to a 5-2 victory over the Huskies - Beer League Heroes, May 23.
Wheat Kings dethroned in "disappointing" loss to the Knights - Copper and Blue, May 24.
Tyler Parsons shines as Knights beat Huskies 5-2 to book berth into Memorial Cup final - Beer League Heroes, May 25. Rebels eliminate the Wheat Kings and book a berth in the semi-finals - Copper and Blue, May 26  
Huskies eliminate Rebels, face Knights for championship - Beer League Heroes, May 28.