SASKATOON, Saskatchewan — The London Knights advanced to the semifinal of the Memorial Cup with a 6-1 victory over the Saskatoon Blades in the tiebreaker game Thursday night at Credit Union Centre.
The convincing win over the tournament’s host team means the OHL Champion Knights will face the WHL Champion Portland Winterhawks tonight. It was a solid rebound effort from the Knights, who were thrashed 9-2 by the Halifax Mooseheads in their final round-robin game Tuesday night.
“We knew that our last game against Halifax was a hiccup, and we came into tonight still confident,” said Knights’ defenseman and captain Scott Harrington. “It was a tough game, I thought our forwards did a great job of executing, and I thought Jake (Patterson) was really good tonight. We knew that was the effort that we needed.”
For the Blades, it marks their final game of the season. Having lost to Portland on Wednesday night, the Blades didn’t come out with the same determination and desperation they had shown over their previous two games.
“Tonight we came out with a pretty good start, but we couldn’t create too many chances, we took way too many penalties against a championship team, and they will bury you for that,” Blades rearguard Darren Dietz said of the effort. “A loss is a loss, and it doesn’t get any better whether you lose by one or by 10.”
Suspended: The Canadian Hockey League announced that the National Hockey League Hockey Operations department suspended Dalton Thrower of the Saskatoon Blades under supplemental discipline for the balance of the Memorial Cup. The suspension was for a check to the head of Portland’s Taylor Leier in the first period of Wednesday's game. Leier did not return to action and his status for the rest of the tournament is unknown.