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London Knights improve to 2-0 at 2024 Memorial Cup with win over Moose Jaw Warriors

Sam O’Reilly scored once and added an assist as the London Knights edged the Moose Jaw Warriors 5-4 to earn their second win at the 2024 Memorial Cup tournament in Saginaw, Mich.

The Warriors made things tight late but London held through the final 3:55 of the game.

Easton Cowan and Denver Barkey each had two assists on the night.

O’Reilly was named the player of the game.

The Warriors kicked off the scoring just 3:39 into the game on a goal by Denton Mateychuk that highlighted a furious start by Moose Jaw.

London goalie Michael Simpson stuck out a right pad and stymied the WHL Player of the Year Jagger Firkus in the first minute of the game and another puck rung of a post beside Simpson not long after the Mateychuk goal.

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Through all of the early desperation by the Warriors, the Knights stayed calm and got rewarded thanks to a hard forecheck by Ruslan Gazizov.

He went behind the Warriors net and got a piece of a puck that then trickled to the side of the Moose Jaw net where the soft hands of Jacob Julien slipped a pass across the crease to Gazizov coming around the far post and Gazizov scored his third goal of the tournament to tie the game at 11:58.

Sam Dickinson put London ahead 2-1 just under six minutes later as he took a feed from the right side from Denver Barkey and rocketed a wrist shot to send the Knights to the dressing room ahead by a goal.

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The second period featured five goals and helped London increase their lead to a pair after 40 minutes.

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Ethan Semeniuk tied the game 2-2 as he banged in a rebound at the 7:01 mark.

The Knights went ahead again two minutes and one second later as Sam O’Reilly dropped his shoulder and make a slick move to the net from the left side and wristed a shot into the top corner past Jackson Ungar to make it 3-2.

O’Reilly then fed Landon Sim on a two-on-one and he scored just as a London penalty came to an end. The goal goes into the books at even strength and the Knights had their largest lead of the game.

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London stretched that lead to 5-2 on a power play goal by Kasper Halttunen, but exactly six seconds later Semeniuk scored his second of the game as he slapped a shot from outside the blue line that knuckled into the Knight net.

The final period rolled along without a goal until Moose Jaw pulled goaltender Ungar with over four minutes remaining and a jam play at the goal line produced a goal by Martin Rysavy at 16:55 and the Knights lead was down to a single goal at 5-4.

London held from there and picked up their second victory that creates some very simple math at this year’s tournament.

The Warriors will face Drummondville on Tuesday, May 28 and the loser of the game will be eliminated.

The Knights go up against the Saginaw Spirit the next day and the winner will earn a bye straight through to the Memorial Cup final.

Moose Jaw outshot London 30-28.

The Knights were 1-for-2 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.

Michael Simpson ended an elongated OHL shutout drought

Michael Simpson’s 31 saves in the Knights 4-0 victory over the Drummondville on May 25 marked the first shutout by an OHL goaltender at the event since Jordan Binnington blanked the Kootenay Ice in 2011.

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Simpson made all kinds of key saves throughout the game and even received a hand or stick from London forward Max McCue who was able to stop a puck on the goal line after it trickled through Simpson’s arm. Simpson is making his second appearance at the Memorial Cup after leading the Peterborough Petes there last season.

Up next

The rematch between London and Saginaw will take place on Wednesday, May 29 at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw, Mich.

The Knights eliminated the Spirit in six games in the Western Conference Championship series.

Saginaw is 2-0 at the tournament after a 5-4 victory over Moose Jaw on opening night and a 4-3 win against Drummondville on May 26.

Coverage of the game will begin at 7 p.m., on 980 CFPL, at and on the Radioplayer Canada app.

&© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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