By @MichaelCaples –
With a 3-2 win in overtime, three Michigan natives and the London Knights have won the 2016 Memorial Cup.
Congrats to Tyler Parsons (Chesterfield), Max Jones (Orion) and Sam Miletic (Bloomfield Hills) – Michigan’s representatives on the team that just won Canada’s ultimate prize in major juniors.
The Knights posted a 3-2 overtime victory – thanks to a decisive goal by NTDP alum Matthew Tkachuk – to finish off a perfect 4-0 record in the prestigious tournament, which features the winners of the Ontario Hockey League (London), the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies), the Western Hockey League (Brandon Wheat Kings) and the host team (Red Deer Rebels).
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” London coach Dale Hunter said. “It’s so hard to win. We’ve been in the game a long time, and to win it like this, against a great team, the boys had to really battle.”
London posted a remarkable 17 straight wins en route to the Memorial Cup victory, as they dominated play in both the OHL and the CHL tournaments.
Parsons backstopped the Knights in all four games, posting a 4-0 record with a .942 save percentage and 1.78 goals-against average. In the regular season, Parsons posted an impressive 37-9-2-1 record while leading the Knights to an OHL championship; he recorded a 2.33 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage. He was presented with the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy – given to the tournament’s top goalie – for his efforts in the Memorial Cup run for the Knights.
“I can’t describe it, it’s unbelievable,” Parsons said in his on-ice interview with the CHL after the game. “This group of guys are unreal, I love them. They’re my brothers forever. We played great tonight, coming back from being down, we battled and we won the championship – it’s an unreal feeling.”
Jones recorded two goals and two assists in the tournament, adding to regular-season totals of 28 goals and 24 assists. He is regarded as a potential first-round pick in this summer’s NHL Draft.
Miletic did not dress in the tournament, but played in 35 regular-season games for the Knights, recording three goals and 11 assists.