Rest or Rust: The Recent History of 3-0 OHL Teams at the Memorial Cup

By: Bryan Thiel

The London Knights have crushed everyone in their path en route to the 2016 Mastercard Memorial Cup final.


The London Knights have looked unstoppable at the Memorial Cup (Rob Wallator/CHL Images

Outside of an early stumble in the first round of the OHL playoffs against the Owen Sound Attack, the Knights have been dominant from start to finish: they’ve now won 16-straight games (13 in the OHL playoffs and three at the Memorial Cup), Mitch Marner is riding a 19-game point streak (44 points in the OHL playoffs and an astonishing 13 at the Memorial Cup), and just two of their last 12 games have been decided by one goal (Games 3 and 4 vs Niagara).


By all accounts, this team has earned every bit of rest they’ve received between the final horn of their 5-2 win over Rouyn-Noranda and the 4:30 puck drop of Sunday’s final (against those same Huskies).

While there’s no real reason to doubt the team that has scored a combined 423 goals this season, there is always one question that pops up whenever a team goes 3-0 in the round robin portion of the Memorial Cup: is the rest really beneficial?

It’s fair to wonder how rest can help or hurt a squad, even if it’s one that has outscored opponents 20-5 and features a player four points away from setting a new tournament record. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the last five OHL teams to go 3-0 in the round robin have fared.

2015 Oshawa Generals


Oshawa won the 2015 Memorial Cup (Canadian Press).

Round Robin: Outscored teams 11-8
Memorial Cup Final: Won 2-1 (OT) vs Kelowna

Leading Scorer: 
Tobias Lindberg: 4GP – 3G / 2A
Michael Dal Colle: 4GP – 2G / 3A (Named to All-Star team)


Ken Appleby: 4GP – 4-0-0, 2.08 GAA, 0.915 SV%
-Won Hap Emms Memorial Trophy and named to All-Star team

Of Note: Dal Colle and Cole Cassels tied for the league lead in scoring during the playoffs with 31 points in 21 games. Cassels had four points in four games during the tournament, but Lindberg, Dal Colle and Cassels were the only three Generals with four or more points.


2014 Guelph Storm
Round Robin: Outscored teams 18-7
Memorial Cup Final: Lost 6-3 to Edmonton

Leading Scorer:
Kerby Rychel: 4GP – 3G / 4A (Named to All-Star team)
Robby Fabbri: 4GP – 2G / 4A

Justin Nichols: 4GP 3-1-0, 3.02 GAA, 0.926 SV%

Of Note: The Guelph Storm had eight players finish with 5+ points in their four games, with just three other players (all Edmonton Oil Kings) coming away with five points during the whole tournament. Justin Nichols was busy the whole week, stopping 30+ pucks in each game, allowing more than three goals for the first time in the final.


2010 Windsor Spitfires
Round Robin: Outscored teams 19-8
Memorial Cup Final: Won 9-1 vs Brandon

Leading Scorer:

2010 Memorial Cup Tournament - Brandon Wheat Kings v Windsor Spitfires

Taylor Hall: 4GP – 5G / 4A (led tournament in scoring)

Adam Henrique: 4GP – 4G / 4A

Philipp Grubauer: 4GP 4-0-0, 2.14 GAA, 0.930 SV%

Of Note: Taylor Hall proved he was worthy of going first overall in the following draft, as he led the tournament in scoring with a pair of three point games. Windsor proved its depth, as nine of the eleven players to record a point scored a goal.


2005 London Knights

Round Robin: Outscored teams 13-7
Memorial Cup Final: Won 4-0 vs Rimouski


The London Knights had one of the greatest seasons in Junior Hockey history in 2005 (Dave Sandford/CHL).

Leading Scorer:
Corey Perry: 4GP 4G / 3A
-Won Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy (MVP) and named to All-Star team
Dan Fritsche: 4GP 3G / 3A
-Named to All-Star team

Adam Dennis: 4-0-0, 1.58 GAA, 0.936 SV% (led tournament in both)
-Won Hap Emms Memorial Trophy and named to All-Star team

Of Note: Sidney Crosby dominated this tournament, leading the scoring race with 11 points (Marc-Antoine Pouliot and Dany Roussin each had nine), but was held scoreless in the final by London. Although he came away with two points in their first meeting, the offensive juggernaut that was the London Knights laid out the perfect game plan to shut down the future superstar.


2003 Kitchener Rangers
Round Robin: Outscored teams 12-6
Memorial Cup Final: Won 6-3 vs Hull

Leading Scorer:
Gregory Campbell: 4GP – 1G / 6A (led tournament in scoring)
-Named to All-Star team
Andre Benoit: 4GP – 1G / 5A
Derek Roy: 4GP – 3G / 1A
-Won Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy (MVP) and named to All-Star team

Scott Dickie: 4-0-0, 2.25 GAA, 0.911 SV%
-Won Hap Emms Memorial Trophy and named to All-Star team

Of Note: Another balanced attack, the Rangers produced six of the top-nine scorers in 2003. Scott Dickie and the Rangers allowed a tournament-low nine goals, staging a come-back in game three of the round robin to remain perfect, and overcoming a three-goal surge from Hull in the second period of the championship game to hold on for the win.

Bryan Thiel is a freelance broadcaster who has covered the OHL from rink-side and the broadcast booth. He has also helped produce OHL features for the past four seasons. You can follow him on Twitter @BryanThiel_88.


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