Knights open Memorial Cup with 4-0 win over Voltigeurs

knights open memorial cup with 4-0 win over voltigeurs

The Memorial Cup is displayed during the opening ceremony and Cup Parade of the Memorial Cup 2024 hockey tournament at Jolt Event Park in downtown Saginaw, Mich., Thursday, May 23, 2024. nbsp;(Julian Leshay Guadalupe/The Flint Journal via AP)

SAGINAW — Ruslan Gazizov scored twice, Michael Simpson made 31 saves, and the London Knights opened their Memorial Cup round-robin schedule with a 4-0 victory over the Drummondville Voltigeurs on Saturday.

The Knights, who only lost two games over four playoff rounds to win the Ontario Hockey League championship, also got goals from Oliver Bonk and Kasper Halttunen. Jacob Julien chipped in with two assists at the Dow Event Center.

The Knights led 2-0 after the first period and the second period was scoreless.

The Knights went 0 for 4 on the power play, while the Voltigeurs were 0 for 5. Riley Mercer stopped 18-of-22 shots in Drummondville's net.

The Voltigeurs, who swept the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League championship, only lost two games over four playoff rounds to capture the QMJHL crown.

Drummondville will be back in action Sunday, facing the host Saginaw Spirit who opened the four-team, round robin tournament on Friday with a 5-4 win over the Western Hockey League champion Moose Jaw Warriors.

"It's a tough tournament so whenever you can win a game against these teams — they're the best from where they're from — so to get a win is real nice," said Knights' coach Dale Hunter.

Simpson, who recorded a 2.59 GAA and .908 save percentage throughout the OHL playoffs, is the first OHL goalie to register a shutout at the Memorial Cup since Owen Sound’s Jordan Binnington achieved the feat in 2011.

“Any time you get a shutout as a goalie it feels good,” Simpson said. “But the win’s a little more important to start off on the right foot.”

The Knights' next game is Monday against the Warriors.

The championship game is scheduled for Sunday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 25, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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