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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Knights shred Blades for berth

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SASKATOON -- Bo Horvat scored on a short-handed penalty shot in the first period and Jake Patterson made 32 saves Thursday as the London Knights defeated the host Saskatoon Blades 6-1 in the tiebreaker game at the MasterCard Memorial Cup.

London will now take on the Portland Winterhawks in today's semifinal, while Saskatoon's up-and-down season came to a disappointing end.

The winner of the Portland-London game will earn a berth in Sunday's Canadian Hockey League title game against the Halifax Mooseheads.

Chris Tierney, with a goal and an assist, Seth Griffith, Ryan Rupert, Kyle Platzer and Nikita Zadorov had the other goals for the Ontario Hockey League champions, who also defeated Saskatoon 3-2 in the tournament opener. Alex Broadhurst added two assists, while Horvat chipped in with one of his own.

Patterson, who was pulled after allowing five goals in the first period of Tuesday's 9-2 round-robin loss to Halifax, was rarely tested by a sluggish Blades team that was playing their second game in as many nights.

Nathan Burns scored for Saskatoon, which got 31 saves from Andrey Makarov in front of 7,895 at the Credit Union Centre before being replaced by Alex Moodie after the sixth London goal. Moodie finished with three stops

Leading 1-0 after Horvat's penalty-shot goal in the first, the Knights pulled away with two quick strikes during a 49-second span in the second. Griffith walked around Saskatoon's Collin Valcourt on a power play and roofed a shot past Makarov at 11:28 before Max Domi fed Tierney for a one-timer at 12:17

The Blades had a golden opportunity to get on the board earlier in the period when London's Paxton Leroux took a four-minute penalty for checking from behind. But Saskatoon registered just one shot on the lifeless man advantage, a weak effort from Lukas Sutter, while the Knights had three quality scoring chances.

The Knights then put the game to bed early in the third. Rupert scored on a feed from in close from Tierny at 2:16, Platzer made it 5-0 just 37 seconds later and Zadorov stretched the lead to six at 3:22.

The Blades got an early power play in the opening period, but it was the Knights who struck first. After Saskatoon forward Josh Nicholls brought Horvat down on a short-handed breakaway, the No. 15 ranked North American skater ahead of next month's NHL draft beat Makarov with a penalty-shot effort that just dribbled over the goal-line.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 24, 2013 C7

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