Preds prospect Austin Watson played a complete two-way game on Tuesday night, earning First Star honors in London's 4-1 win over Edmonton in Memorial Cup action. Watson won 14-of-23 faceoffs and sealed the game with an empty net goal as London closed out round robin play with a 2-1-0 record; Watson was the game's First Star in both London wins and is emerging as a top candidate for Memorial Cup MVP.
The Knights have earned a bye at least into the semifinals. If Saint John beats Shawinigan in Wednesday's action then London will get a bye into the Championship Game on Sunday; if Shawinigan beats Saint John in the game, then London will play in Friday's semifinal game against the winner of the Saint John/Edmonton play-in game.
Watson has scored two goals and two assists in the three games during the round robin portion of the tournament, with eight shots on goal and an "even" plus/minus rating. His shot blocking and defensive play -- often being matched against the opponent's top line -- have drawn praise throughout the post-season, starting in the OHL playoffs and continuing in the added spotlight of the Memorial Cup.
Fellow Preds prospect Charles-Olivier Roussel will be in action tonight with Saint John against host Shawinigan, the final game of the round robin stage at this year's tournament. The losing team will face Edmonton in the play-in game on Thursday. Roussel has one goal and one assist with a +2 plus/minus rating through Saint John's first two games.