Anton Zlobin scored his second goal of the game 17:51 into overtime to lift the Shawinigan Cataractes to their first Memorial Cup title with a 2-1 victory over the London Knights on Sunday night.
Zlobin took a pass from behind the net from captain Michael Bournival and drilled a quick shot that beat Knights goaltender Michael Houser and sent the sellout crowd into a frenzy. The Cataractes forward leapt into the air before he was mobbed by teammates on the ice.
Zlobin had tied the game in the second period after Ryan Rupert scored in the first for the Ontario Hockey League champion Knights.
Cataractes' Chaput wins MVP
If Sunday night is the last time Michael Chaput suits up for the Shawinigan Cataractes, he certainly ended his Quebec Major Junior Hockey League career with a bang.
On top of being a member of the Memorial Cup champions after the Cataractes beat the London Knights 2-1 in overtime Sunday, the fourth-year centre earned the honour of being named the winner of the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as the tournament's most valuable player.
"The tournament went great but I owe it all to my teammates," Chaput said. "Everyone played well and they helped me along the whole tournament. I'm not going to take the credit personally. They all played great. It's a team thing. You need 20 guys to win this tournament and that's what we did."
It was the first overtime in nine tournament games and it came with Shawinigan playing a fourth game in five nights.
London was coming off a five-day break.
More than 5,000 fans were crammed into the 4,125-seat Bionest Centre, crowding into standing room and even sitting in the stairways, with air horns and Thunderstix adding to the din.
After the second period, the P.A. announcer reminded fans that air horns was "restricted," but the blaring went on just the same.
London had the better of the play for most of the game, keeping the Cataractes to the outside on defence and generating several chances at the other end, where Cataractes goaltender Gabriel Girard had a superb game.
Final shots were 36-35 for Shawinigan.
The Knights executed their trap and counterattack game to perfection, taking a 13-4 lead in shots in the opening period and scoring the first goal. Strong forechecking produced the chance, as Matt Rupert set up his twin brother Ryan from behind the net 5:42 into the game.
Shawinigan did not get a shot on goal in the opening 10 minutes.
The Cataractes picked up the tempo in the second period and tied the game when Kirill Kabanov’s shot went off Tommy Hughes’ stick to the crease for Zlobin to put in at 3:01.
There were glittering chances in a fast-paced third period, especially for the Knights’ best unit of Austin Watson with the Rupert brothers, who failed to bury a handful of chances.
It was the first final to go to overtime since 2001, when Red Deer beat Val d’Or.
The Cararactes were among the founding members of the QMJHL in 1969 but never won the Memorial Cup. They reached the final in 1985, losing 6-1 to the Prince Albert Raiders. Shawinigan was the host team, but the final was moved to Drummondville because the old Jacques Plante Arena was considered inadequate for television.
Next year’s Memorial Cup will be in Saskatoon.