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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It was 40 years in the making for my hometown Knights but wow did they do it in style!!!!! A shutout!
What's more if there was anytime in the last 40 years to win it it was now when the Memorial cup means something cause of the NHL strike and crowds where a watchin.

There will be punting on the Thames tonight!
 

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Mr. Haney(Cruz) for Pres.
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Punting?

This is good for London's profile.
 

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Damn right there will be. It is good for London's profile and has definitely showcased the city well and is better since the NHL lockout is going and more people have tuned into the Memorial Cup this year. I don't think we'll ever see another CHL team like this for a VERY LONG time. Although Rimouski took some dumb penalties. Now hopefully, this will give some spotlight to London, and it will!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Frankly, I thought it was better hockey than most NHL games. The NHL has become just defensive play and when they are not playing defensivly they are bashing each other's heads in.
 

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I'm so disappointed that i'm not in london this week....I would've loved to woop it up down richmond row and post a phototour of the craziness.
 

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London caps season by winning first Memorial Cup in team's 40-year history

London caps season by winning first Memorial Cup in team's 40-year history



:eek2:
LONDON, Ont. (CP) - Before he handed the London Knights the Memorial Cup, the commissioner of the Canadian Hockey League dubbed them one of the greatest junior teams ever.

There was no arguing with David Branch given the Knights' record-setting campaign, which they capped by shutting down the Rimouski Oceanic 4-0 in the national final Sunday.

Knights coach Dale Hunter and his brother Mark, both former long-time NHL players, bought the franchise five years ago and built it into this team, which was ranked No. 1 in Canada the entire season en route to a 59-7-2 record.

Regular season and playoffs combined, London was 79-9-2.

Knowing what went into building this juggernaut, Dale Hunter was ready to state his junior team is the best ever.

"Yes it is," said Hunter. "We broke every record.

"I don't know if anyone will ever put together a junior team like this."

It was a talented and balanced squad with a solid work ethic, and attention to defence as instilled by Hunter.

London shut out Rimouski, the highest-scoring team in the CHL this season, and Sidney Crosby, the CHL's leading scorer and most valuable player, and outshot the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champions 44-27 on Sunday.

"That shows what a complete team we are," said Knights forward Corey Perry, the tournament's MVP.

There have been teams in the CHL's history that have won 59 and 60 games in a season, such as Brandon and Trois-Rivieres in 1979 and Victoria in 1981.

But those teams were unable to finish the job at the Memorial Cup. The Knights set themselves apart by fulfilling the heavy expectations on them and winning the first Memorial Cup in the franchise's 40-year history in front of their home fans.

"I know people are saying we were arguably the best junior team ever," said Dan Fritsche, who scored a goal and had two assists Sunday. "We knew, if we wanted to prove that, we had to do this."

With a bevy of talented forwards, Hunter had a lot of options up front. He put his son, Dylan Hunter, a first-line forward and one of the team's top scorers, on a checking line with Trevor Kell and Brandon Prust and, together with defencemen Daniel Girardi and Marc Methot, they silenced Crosby's line.

Crosby, 17, is expected to be selected first overall in the next NHL draft. He had a great tournament, leading all scorers with six goals and five assists in five games, but neither he nor his teammates could generate anything against the Knights.

"There's a lot of what if's, but the bottom line is they played a better hockey game," Crosby said.

The Knights' hardworking and disciplined defence protected goaltender Adam Dennis and forced the Oceanic to the outside. At the other end, speedy and skilled forwards such as Perry, Fritsche, Rob Schremp and David Bolland often had the Oceanic defence scrambling. Bolland, Schremp and defenceman Bryan Rodney also scored for London in the final.

The Oceanic had less than 24 hours to recover from beating Ottawa 7-4 in the Saturday semifinal. The fire was out of them. They were a pale shadow of the team that lost 4-3 in overtime to London in a thrilling tournament opener May 21.

The Knights knew from the start of the season they would be in the Memorial Cup as host, but they never coasted. They did not lose a game until Dec. 17. Among the Ontario Hockey League records the Knights set were those for most points and most wins in a season. The Knights weren't satisfied with host status and also won the OHL title.

If the Knights ever felt pressure, it was during their bid to better the 29-game record held by the 1978-79 Brandon Wheat Kings for the longest unbeaten streak in CHL history.

London set the new mark of 30 games without a loss in a nervous 0-0 tie against Guelph on Dec. 10 and then extended it to 31 with a victory two days later.

The players and the coach say the pressure they felt during that run, and the hockey spotlight on them in the absence of the NHL, prepared them to win the Memorial Cup in front of their home fans at the John Labatt Centre.

"Every game was a seventh game when we were in that streak," Hunter said. "The media hype was unbelievable. The kids knew the pressure."

Perry, a first-round pick of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, and defenceman Danny Syvret, who is undrafted, concluded a dream season for any junior player as they, along with Crosby, also helped Canada win a gold medal at the 2005 world junior championships in January.

"I don't know if you can get a better year in junior hockey," said Syvret, the Knights' captain.

CROSBY WATCH - The tournament's leading scorer with six goals and five assists in five games was named to the all-star team. He reinforced his status as the top prospect in the world for the next NHL draft. Showcasing his superior skills and instincts, he created a buzz whenever he stepped on the ice. Only the top team in the CHL was able to find a way to stop him.

Notes - London's Adam Dennis was named the tournament's top goaltender . . . London's Dennis, Fritsche, Perry, Syvret and Rimouski's Crosby and defenceman Mario Scalzo Jr. were named to the all-star team . . . Attendance at the 2005 Memorial Cup was just over 71,000, putting it fifth all-time . . . The 2006 tournament will be in Moncton.
 

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Now I LOVE the OHL/CHL now, I love it! I love it! I love it! Since the Knights won, I would have been satisfied with just the OHL title, which they hadn't won in their 40 year history. So now this takes a lot of pressure off the Knights having never won the OHL Title or the Memorial Cup, I probably wouldn't have paid as much attention to this had the NHL not been locked out. I have to get a jersey sometime. I already have a shirt.
 

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Mr. Haney(Cruz) for Pres.
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I think the CHL will have a long-term boost because of this. Cities like London, Halifax, Kitchener, etc will never have an NHL team yet they are not small cities. They will pay more attention to CHL games in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I agree.
I think it would be great to have teams from Canada's mid size cities.
I think this year has done a lot for the minors. Showed the country that there can be good hockey without all the violence of kids making millions a year and bitching about it.
It was refreshing. I think it has helped the profile of the minors and further hurt the profile of the NHL..................and they deserve it.
 

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Mr. Haney(Cruz) for Pres.
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I stopped watching hockey when teams like the Daffy Ducks - or whatever they are called - joined the NHL. Florida with NHL hockey? Like my niece used to say as a 2-year old "gimme a boo-ache wool ya"?

Is CHL hockey televised on satellite TV?
 

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^ you bet! That's how I watched it. I got it on Bell ExpressVu on Sportsnet, I get all four sportsnet channels.

For midsized cities having hockey teams, IMO, only three in Canada may be capable, Quebec City and Winnipeg (as they used to have teams, but the money wasn't there), and Hamilton, which was supposed to get an NHL team in the early 1990s but lost to Tampa Bay and Ottawa.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think it would be great for a league of Canada's mid-size cities. London but not Rimouski.
It would entail the whole country with good hockey that would also get a lot of attendance and TV coverage.

My thoughts of 16 teams:
Halifax, St.John's, St.John, Quebec, Sherbrooke, Hamilton, London, Sudbury, Windsor, Kitchener, ThunderBay, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Victoria, Kelowna.

Wouldn't want to get it too big or you might as well just use the teams we have.
I think a lot don't get to excited when their big cities are playing little places like Rimouski or Cranbrooke.
With these larger cities there could be so hardcore urban and regional rivolries going on with good attendance, and better TV coverage.
 
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