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Eight GTHL alumni help Saginaw Spirit soar to first-ever Memorial Cup championship
Ontario Hockey League

Saginaw, Mich. – Josh Bloom scored the deciding goal with 22 seconds remaining in the third period, securing a 4-3 win over the London Knights and the Saginaw Spirit’s first Memorial Cup championship in franchise history. The historic win included eight Greater Toronto Hockey League alumni:

  • Zayne Parekh (Markham Majors)
  • Michael Misa (Mississauga Senators)
  • Josh Bloom (Toronto Young Nationals)
  • Aidan Castle (Toronto Jr. Canadiens)
  • Nicholas Sima (Toronto Jr. Canadiens)
  • James Guo (Toronto Jr. Canadiens)
  • Roberto Mancini (Reps Hockey Club)
  • Alex Christopoulos (Don Mills Flyers)

The Spirit started the game hot, outshooting London 13-1 through one period and 24-6 through 40 minutes, owning a 3-0 lead midway through regulation before the Knights battled back to level the score at three.

Bloom’s winner came on a goalmouth scramble as he stuffed the puck over the goal line past an outstretched Michael Simpson to put the Spirit ahead for good, making them the first American OHL team to win a Memorial Cup title.

Montreal Canadiens prospect Owen Beck scored a pair of first period goals, putting Saginaw up 2-0 with just 45 seconds to left in the opening stanza. Beck would go on to earn the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as Memorial Cup MVP, rounding-out the tournament with five points (4-1–5) in as many games.

Nashville Predators prospect Joey Willis chipped a backhand effort over the shoulder of Simpson on a break in-alone 7:47 into the second before the Knights found their footing and made a game of things.

San Jose Sharks draftee Kasper Halttunen gave London life with his fourth of the tournament 9:45 into the second. Easton Cowan would follow-up 7:48 into the third with a low shot through traffic that snuck through the five-hole of Oke. 2024 NHL Draft prospect Sam Dickinson scored the equalizer, taking a feed from Max McCue to beat Oke up high and knot the score at three midway through the third period.

Bloom’s heroics capped-off a one goal and two assist performance for the Vancouver Canucks prospect. A capacity crowd of 5,373 at the Dow Event Center was on hand for the biggest goal in Saginaw Spirit history.

The Spirit surrendered just 13 shots in the win, the fewest by any team in a Championship Final in the past 25 years of Memorial Cup history. Saginaw becomes the first U.S. based CHL team to win the Memorial Cup since the Spokane Chiefs, who last did so in 2008.

The OHL champion London Knights come up one win short in their Memorial Cup quest as veterans Michael Simpson, Max McCue and Kaleb Lawrence played in their final OHL contests.

OHL Commissioner David Branch, who will retire this summer following 45 years leading the Ontario Hockey League, presented the Memorial Cup to Saginaw Spirit captain Braden Haché. The Spirit and the London Knights became the fifth set of OHL teams to meet in the Memorial Cup Final, with the Spirit becoming the third straight tournament host to win such an encounter following the 2017 Windsor Spitfires and 1993 Soo Greyhounds.

Read more at CHL.ca/OHL


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