Saint John takes down Hamilton to capture 2022 Memorial Cup
The host Saint John Sea Dogs claimed the 2022 Memorial Cup after besting the Hamilton Bulldogs 6-3 on Wednesday in New Brunswick.
The Sea Dogs are the first team to win the trophy since 2019, as the last two tournaments were scrapped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It's their second Memorial Cup title in franchise history.
New York Islanders prospect William Dufour was named the Memorial Cup MVP after leading the tournament with seven goals.
Six different goal-scorers found the back of the net for Saint John during its inspired victory.
The Sea Dogs got off to a hot start, with defenseman Vincent Sevigny putting them on the board less than three minutes in. The home team never relinquished the lead.
Montreal Canadiens prospect Jan Mysak gave the Bulldogs some life thanks to a dramatic tally with nine seconds remaining in the second period to draw Hamilton within two goals, but it was ultimately too late.
The Sea Dogs sealed the victory with another two tallies in the third period, including an empty-netter from Peter Reynolds.
Dufour's second-period goal stood as the game-winner. Forwards Cameron MacDonald, Riley Bezeau, and Josh Lawrence also found the back of the net for the Sea Dogs, while Anaheim Ducks prospect Mason McTavish scored twice for Hamilton.
Widely considered one of the hardest trophies to win in hockey, the Memorial Cup determines the champion of the Canadian Hockey League, which encapsulates the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
The champion from each of the three member leagues participates in the tournament, as well as the host team.
Saint John secured its place in the Memorial Cup final after going 2-0-1 in preliminary-round action. Before participating in the round robin, the Sea Dogs went 39 days between games after being eliminated by the Rimouski Oceanic in the first round of the QMJHL playoffs.
The Sea Dogs fired bench boss Gordie Dwyer following their early exit and replaced him with interim head coach Gardiner MacDougall.
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, went 16-3 in the postseason and clinched the OHL championship after beating the Windsor Spitfires in seven games. Hamilton had a rockier road to the Memorial Cup final after dropping the first two preliminary contests, but the Bulldogs ultimately prevailed in the semifinals versus the Shawinigan Cataractes.
Saint John became the first team from Atlantic Canada to win the Memorial Cup in 2011 after beating the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors.