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Barkey, Bonk, London Knights Prepare for Memorial Cup Final

(London Knights/X)

The London Knights’ dominant season continues as they just swept their way through the round robin action of the Memorial Cup and have advanced to the finals as they await the winner of Friday’s Semi-Finals between the Saginaw Spirit and the Moose Jaw Warriors.

The Memorial Cup encompasses the three winners in Canada’s junior leagues – OHL, WHL, and QMJHL – as well as the host city. This year was the 104th rendition and it featured the Knights (OHL Champions), the Warriors (the WHL Champions), the Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL Champions), and the host in Saginaw.

London went 3-0-0-0, Saginaw went 2-0-0-1, Moose Jaw went 1-0-0-2, and Drummondville lost all three games. Finishing in first place gives you an automatic berth in the Championship Game while finishing last means you’re out of the tournament. 2nd and 3rd place face off against one another in a spirited Semi-Finals to determine the final matchup.

The Knights took down Drummondville in their first game by a score of 4-0, before defeating Moose Jaw, 5-4, and Saginaw, 4-2. Philadelphia Flyers prospects Denver Barkey and Oliver Bonk have become mainstays on the offensive side of the puck alongside Toronto Maple Leafs top prospect Easton Cowan. Bonk had 1 goal and 2 assists, Barkey provided 1 goal and 2 assists, and Cowan scored 2 goals and 2 assists in their 3-game round robin.

In Wednesday’s game, it was tied 2-2 before Cowan scored the go-ahead goal with just 1:25 left on the clock. He would also add the empty-netter to seal the victory. Barkey tallied a goal midway through the second to give the Knights a 2-1 lead at the time and San Jose Sharks’ prospect Kasper Halttunen opened the scoring for the Knights.

Interestingly enough, Saginaw finished 2nd in the OHL with 102 points and finished just behind the Knights who edged them out with 104. Both teams faced off against one another in the Conference Finals where London squeaked by in 6 games before sweeping Oshawa in the finals. In fact, London’s only 2 losses in the playoffs came against Saginaw – who became a bitter rival by the end of the year.

Earlier in the week, the OHL announced their first, second, and third team All-Stars as well as their rookie team, with Bonk featuring on the first-team with Cowan, and Barkey on the second team alongside his teammates in Sam Dickinson and Michael Simpson, as well as his head coach in Dale Hunter.

The Championship game is set for June 2nd at 7:30 pm E.T. and the Knights will be looking for their first Memorial Cup victory since 2016 when they defeated the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. They also lost in 2012 to the Shawinigan Cataractes and won back in 2005 against Sidney Crosby‘s Rimouski Oceanic.

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