Florida Panthers prospect LW Kenndal McArdle and the Vancouver Giants capped off an amazing season by winning the 2007 MasterCard Memorial Cup on Sunday afternoon. In a rematch of this year’s WHL Finalists, Vancouver came out victorious 3-1 over the Medicine Hat Tigers as Mario Bliznak, Michal Repik
, and Spencer Machacek each netted goals. McArdle assisted on Bliznak’s opening goal at 6:07 in the second period. Vancouver outshot Medicine Hat by an astonishing 40-15 tally. This marks the first ever Memorial Cup won by the Vancouver Giants who joined the WHL in 2001.
"What's special is when you win it with an organization for the first time," Giants head coach Don Hay told the Sun Media. "This team went through some tough times, but we built it the right way and it's very rewarding."
After a scoreless first, and Bliznak’s 2nd period goal, Medicine Hat tied the game at 1 on a Darren Helm powerplay goal at 15:49. As the game looked to be headed to overtime, Vancouver’s Michal Repik
scored on a wrap-around at 15:05 of the third period. Medicine Hat pulled goalie Matt Keetley for an extra attacker, but Vancouver scored on the empty net when Spencer Machacek flipped the puck in at 19:14.
"It's something that means a lot, not only for myself and the team but for the whole city of Vancouver ," McArdle said from Vancouver City Hall where May 29th was being proclamated 'Vancouver Giants Day'. "I'm fortunate enough to win it on home ice and in front of the home crowd."
This win also gave Giants coach Don Hay his third Memorial Cup, more than any other coach in junior hockey history.
“I’m just so proud of these guys,” Hay told the CanWest News Service. “Just look around the locker room; there isn’t one guy who didn’t buy in wholeheartedly.”
With two goals and five assists, Milan Lucic was awarded the tournament MVP. McArdle has been a huge part of the team’s success as he had 11 goals and 9 assists to finish 5th overall in the WHL in scoring during the playoffs. In the regular season McArdle racked up a career best 19 goals and 23 assists for 42 points. The Giants finish with an overall record of 45-17-3-7, and they were first in the Western Conference B.C. Division.