Sea Dogs' Season Capped Off With Memorial Cup
In a championship final that was not meant for fans with a weak stomach, the Saint John Sea Dogs became the first QMJHL team from the Maritimes to take home the MasterCard Memorial Cup, and with it all the bragging rights of a team that set numerous highs over the course of the season. They beat the hosts of the Memorial Cup, the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors, by a count of 3-1.
Pittsburgh first-rounder Simon Després, who was reportedly at odds with bronchitis and several other ailments throughout the tournament, opened the scoring with a shorthanded unassisted goal, his first marker of the Memorial Cup. Zack Phillips followed up later on in the period with his first of the tournament and the Sea Dogs concluded the first frame with a 2-goal advantage.
The only goal of the second came off a beautiful passing play between Casey Cizikas, Justin Shugg and the eventual scorer, Riley Brace. The Majors outshot the Sea Dogs 15-6 as Saint John managed to kill off three crucial penalties and netminder Jacob DeSerres continued to fend off Mississauga's attack. The slight edge of one goal would continue to separate the two teams until well into the final period, and the Majors failed to capitalize on several of their chances before Jonathan Huberdeau put the final nail in their coffin at 16:17.
Saint John concluded a season that, when combining regular season, the playoffs and the Memorial Cup, gave them an .846 winning percentage. The last QMJHL team to capture the CHL honours? The 2006 Québec Remparts, when the tournament was hosted in Moncton.
Next year's tournament will be held in Shawinigan, as the Cataractes will be the hosts of the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup.
Huberdeau named MVP
The highly-touted Jonathan Huberdeau added another award to his collection Sunday night, as the author of three goals and three assists in the tournament took home MVP honours. The St-Jérôme native had 30 points in 19 playoff games and 105 points in 67 regular season contests.
DeSerres' time to shine
A lot (but probably not enough) has been made of the story of Jacob DeSerres, who was on the wrong end of last year's 9-1 Memorial Cup final against the Windsor Spitfires and was put on waivers the following season, only to end up with the team that was a mainstay at the head of the CHL Top 10. He definitely had his say in this tournament, making 34 out of 35 stops in the final and 71 of 76 before that.
2010-11 CHL Award Winners announced
The CHL also handed out its hardware over the weekend, as ten trophies found winners as part of the Memorial Cup celebrations.
Jack Link’s Top Prospect of the Year: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Red Deer Rebels
FRAM Sportsman of the Year: Philip-Michaël Devos, Gatineau Olympiques
Chrysler Top Scorer of the Year: Linden Vey, Medicine Hat Tigers
Home Hardware Humanitarian Player of the Year: Spencer Edwards, Moose Jaw Warriors
Subway Scholastic Player of the Year: Dougie Hamilton, Niagara IceDogs
Old Dutch Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award: Gerard Gallant, Saint John Sea Dogs
BMO Rookie of the Year: Nail Yakupov, Sarnia Sting
PERT Plus Goaltender of the Year: Darcy Kuemper, Red Deer Rebels
CGC Defenceman of the Year and CCM Player of the Year: Ryan Ellis, Windsor Spitfires