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A 4-2 victory over the Saginaw Spirit sends the London Knights to the Memorial Cup final

Easton Cowan scored twice and added an assist, while Sam O’Reilly added two assists as the London Knights knocked off the Saginaw Spirit 4-2 on May 29 to earn a berth in the championship game at the 2024 Memorial Cup tournament.

Knights forwards Denver Barkey and Kasper Halttunen each had a goal and an assist in the game.

The London victory came on the anniversary of the Knights Memorial Cup championship wins in 2005 and 2016.

London head coach Dale Hunter moved into a tie for second place in all-time wins at the Memorial Cup with Brian Kilrea. Each coach has 13. Don Hay has 14.

Alex Christopoulos got the first goal of the game for the Saginaw Spirit when he found a loose puck off a shot block and got it into the London net at 8:50 of the opening period.

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Kasper Halttunen tied the game on a Knights power play five minutes and 33 seconds later.

OHL Defenceman of the Year, Zayne Parekh in the penalty box serving a double minor for high sticking, Max McCue and Halttunen grabbed a puck, came across the Spirit blue line and toe-dragged past a defender and ripped a wrist shot to the low blocker side on Saginaw goalie Andrew Oke. The teams sat tied 1-1 through 20 minutes.

Halttunen made another play to set up the second London goal as he absorbed a hit coming down the left side boards in the Saginaw end and threw a puck to the front of the net that Denver Barkey deflected in to give the Knights their first lead at 10:40 of the second period.

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Joey Willis of the Spirit tied the game 2-2 at 14:20 as he wired a shot into a tiny space over the shoulder of London goalie Michael Simpson and the teams went to the final 20 minutes all square.

The game stayed that way until the clock showed less than 90 seconds to play.

A high flip by Oliver Bonk went to Sam O’Reilly on the left side of the Saginaw zone and O’Reilly poked a puck to Easton Cowan who fired a shot past Oke for the go-ahead goal and eventual game winner at 18:35 of the third period.

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With the Spirit net empty and Saginaw in control Cowan was able to knock a puck loose and into centre ice where the Mt. Brydges native and Toronto Maple Leafs 2023 first rounder raced into the Saginaw zone and scored the goal that sealed the win and sent London to the Memorial Cup final

The Knights outshot the Spirit 35-28.

London was 1-for-3 on the power play.

The Spirit were 0-for-1.

Six members of the Knights name All-Stars and one Knight named to All-Rookie teams

The Ontario Hockey League has released their OHL All-Star and All-Rookie teams. Easton Cowan and Oliver Bonk have been named to the first All-Star team, while Michael Simpson, Sam Dickinson, Denver Barkey and Knights head coach Dale Hunter were named 2nd team All-Stars.

London forward Sam O’Reilly was named to the 2nd All-Rookie team. O’Reilly had a goal and an assist and was named player of the game in Knights 5-4 victory over Moose Jaw on May 27. O’Reilly is the only rookie to record a point so far at the 2024 Memorial Cup tournament. The former Vaughan King has a goal and three assists.

Up next

The Knights will meet either the Moose Jaw Warriors or the Saginaw Spirit in the Memorial Cup final. The Warriors and Spirit will play in the semi-final on Friday, May 31 at 7:30.

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The Championship game will take place on Sunday, June 2 at 7:30.

Coverage can be heard starting at 7 p.m., on 980 CFPL, at and on the Radioplayer Canada app.

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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