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Knights Top Huskies in OT to Win Memorial Cup

by Ron Knabenbauer / Colorado Avalanche

The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies fell one goal short of a Canadian Hockey League title.

Matthew Tkachuk scored his second of the contest 7:49 into overtime and the London Knights won the 2016 Memorial Cup championship in a 3-2 victory over the Huskies on Sunday at the Enmax Centrium in Red Deer, Alberta. Tkachuk is the No. 2-ranked North American skater in the NHL Central Scouting's final rankings going into next month's draft.

Rouyn-Noranda's storybook season ends in the CHL championship final after the club powered its way to a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League title and past the Red Deer Rebels in the Memorial Cup semifinal on Friday night. The Huskies (2-3) had lost 5-2 to the Knights in the teams' round-robin game on Tuesday.

London (4-0) finishes the year on a 17-game winning streak and with its second Memorial Cup championship in franchise history. The Knights' last loss came in the first round of the Ontario Hockey League playoffs on April 1.

Colorado Avalanche prospect Julien Nantel gave Rouyn-Noranda a 2-1 lead at 9:13 of the third period after recording his second goal of the tournament, but London's Christian Dvorak retied the contest with 4:11 left in regulation. Nantel added five shots in the outing and finished 3-for-8 in faceoffs.

Tkachuk opened the scoring at 9:19 of the middle stanza, but Francis Perron quickly answered for the Huskies just 15 seconds later.

Two other Avs prospects played for Rouyn-Noranda, as JC Beaudin had a shot and won 11 of his 21 faceoff attempts while AJ Greer had two shots, four penalty minutes and a minus-1 rating.

Huskies goaltender Chase Marchand made 30 saves as the Knights held a 33-31 shots advantage.

Two other top 2016 NHL Draft prospects had points in the contest for London. Olli Juolevi (fifth-ranked North American skater) had an assist on the winning tally while Max Jones (14th-ranked North American skater) registered a helper on the game-tying score.

London's Mitch Marner, who was picked fourth overall in the 2015 draft, was named tournament MVP after registering 14 points (two goals and 12 assists) in four contests.

The Knights were making their fifth appearance at the Memorial Cup, but their only other championship came 11 years ago to the day in their initial visit in 2005. This was the Huskies' first-ever trip to the Memorial Cup since the franchise moved to Rouyn-Noranda in 1996.

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