When three league champions and a hungry host team clash, anything can happen. Elite talent can expose even the most leak-proof defenses, and so went the Memorial Cup, where three of the nine contests reached double digits in combined goals. The WHL-champion Portland Winterhawks, with Blackhawks prospect Mac Carruth between the pipes, were the victims of two such results, losing to Halifax 7-4 in round-robin play and then falling 6-4 in the final rematch.
To get to the final game, the Winterhawks needed to shut down the high-powered London Knights, who had scored 14 goals over their first four games. The semifinal game produced plenty of scoring opportunities for both teams, but Carruth turned in his best performance of the tournament, allowing just one goal on 35 shots. The 2-1 result was the lowest-scoring game of the Memorial Cup, leaving no room for 2011 seventh-round draft pick Alex Broadhurst to add to his point totals. The New Lenox native finished the tournament with four points (1G, 3A) in five games, sharing third on the team.
If the Winterhawks wanted to reprise their shutdown performance in the title game, the QMJHL champions had other ideas. The Mooseheads put the puck past Carruth five times, then resisted Portland’s comeback attempt that made it 5-4 late in the third, adding a sixth goal with 23 seconds left and the Winterhawks net empty. Carruth finished the tournament with a 3-2 record, a 3.61 goals-against average and a .894 save percentage.