London Knights Win 2011-12 OHL Championship

London Knights Win 2011-12 OHL ChampionshipIn a series which was not as close as some may have predicted, the London Knights cruised past the Niagara Ice Dogs in five games to win the OHL Championship.

The 2-1 Knights victory game in a tight battle in game five. The game remained scoreless throughout the first period, and it wasn’t until 12:34 of the second when Austin Watson slammed home a loose puck to give the Knights a 1-0 lead. The goal was Watson’s 10th of the OHL Playoffs.

Early in the third period, Seth Griffith gave the Knights a 2-0 lead as he one-timed a pass from Vladislav Namestnikov to beat Ice Dogs goaltender Mark Visentin. The goal was Griffith’s 10th of the playoffs and his 23rd point.

The Ice Dogs got on the board at 7:53 of the third period when Tom Kuhnhackl banged a rebound past Knights goalie Michael Houser making it 2-1. The goal was Kuhnhackl’s 6th of the playoffs.

Unfortunately for the Ice Dogs, Houser kept the door shut the rest of the night which gave Griffith the game winning goal for the Knights. Houser finished the playoffs with a 16-2 record, posting a 2.25 goals against average and .928 save percentage.

When all was said and done, the Wayne Gretzky 99 trophy for Playoff MVP was awarded to Austin Watson. Although Griffith had a better post-season in terms of points, Watson picked up 7 assists in addition to his 10 goals, giving him 17 points in 19 games for a great output. Additionally, he was an extremely valuable member to the Knights squad, doing everything from scoring goals to blocking shots on the penalty kill.

The Knights as a team were as solid as they come, cruising through the playoffs with only three losses. This win marks their second OHL Championship, the last coming in 2005 with a team that featured current NHL stars Brandon Prust, Dave Bolland, and Corey Perry. Their next stop will be Shawinigan, Quebec, where they will compete for the Memorial Cup.

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