SAINT JOHN - The Memorial Cup will remain property of a QMJHL club for the third consecutive tournament. The host Saint John Sea Dogs defeated the OHL Champion Hamilton Bulldogs 6-3 at TD Station on Wednesday evening to capture the second CHL title in the organization’s history and the first since 2011.
Vincent Sevigny, Cam MacDonald, Riley Bezeau, William Dufour, Josh Lawrence, and Peter Reynolds, scored for the Sea Dogs, who received a 25-save effort from Nikolas Hurtubise. Mason McTavish, with a pair and Jan Mysak countered for the Bulldogs, who were gunning for its first national title. Marco Costantini stopped 21 shots in the contest.
The Sea Dogs, who would take a 2-1 advantage to the room after 20 minutes, struck first when Sevigny’s shot pinballed off a pair of Hamilton defenders and over the shoulder of Costantini for his first of the tournament at the 2:35 mark to send TD Station into a frenzy. The roof would come off once more 3:12 later when another first-time event sniper, MacDonald, accepted a feed from the point by William Villeneuve while parked in the slot, spun, and fired a quick wrister past Costantini. The Bulldogs countered at the 7:45 when MacTavish tipped Nathan Staios’ point shot eluded Hurtubise for his fifth of the tournament.
After an extended period of tentative play, the Sea Dogs reclaimed its two-goal cushion at the 4:41 mark when Bezeau became the next first-time scorer on the night when he unleashed a wrister over the glove hand of Costantini while streaking down the right wing. Dufour, the QMJHL regular season MVP added to the scoresheet just 34 seconds later as he provided the finishing touch on a wraparound attempt by Ryan Francis for his seventh of the tournament. The Bulldogs struck back in timely fashion when Mysak redirected a blast from the line by Arber Xhekaj with just nine seconds remaining in the frame to pull to within two.
At the 6:32 mark of the third, while on the powerplay, Dufour would find Lawrence with a feed from behind the net. His second of the tournament would find the back of the net on Cosantini’s short side to re-establish the three-goal Saint John cushion. McTavish would reply at 15:03, sneaking a shot from close in past Hurtubise that was overturned after being initially waived off by the officials. Reynold’s empty-netter, his second of the event, with 1:17 remaining, sent the crowd, standing on its feet for the last several minutes, to another level.
The Sea Dogs follow in the footsteps of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan (2018) and Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (2019) as clubs from the “Q” to capture the Memorial Cup. This is the league’s eighth title since 2000.