Peterborough Petes edge London Knights to win 2023 OHL Championship

The Peterborough Petes clinched the 2023 Ontario Hockey League championship with a 2-1 victory over the London Knights on Sunday night at the Peterborough Memorial Centre.

All three goals came in the second half of the game as Owen Willmore of the Knights and Londoner Michael Simpson made sure no goals came easy.

Willmore made 20 saves for London in the opening period and 30 saves through 40 minutes and 34 overall.

Simpson made 36 saves on the night and was awarded the “99” Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the OHL playoffs.

Petes winger Avery Hayes finally broke the scoreless tie at 13:33 of the second period as the Petes blocked a London clearing attempt and Tucker Robertson got the puck to Hayes. The overage forward put a backhand into the Knight net to make it 1-0 and that’s the way the score stayed into the final 20 minutes.

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London’s Max McCue tied the game when Logan Mailloux dumped the puck into the Peterborough zone and Connor Federkow quickly got it to the front of the next where Max McCue buried a shot into the back of the Petes net with 12:01 left in the game.

Petes defenceman Donovan McCoy took a pass from his partner Cam Gauvreau and wristed a shot into the slot that was deflected by Tucker Robertson and found its way in.

The Knights pushed for the equalizer over the final eight minutes and 50 seconds but big saves from Simpson kept it rom happening and Peterborough celebrated the tenth league championship in their franchises’s history.

The Petes will now head for the 2023 Memorial Cup in Kamloops, B.C. They will play their first game on Day 2 of the tournament against the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts.

 Tkachuk in elite company

Matthew Tkachuk’s second consecutive overtime winner has the Florida Panthers ahead 2-0 in the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference final and gave the former Knight the keys to quite the quartet in hockey history.

Tkachuk now has three OT winners in the playoffs to tie another former Knight, Corey Perry, Maurice Richard and Mel Hill of the 1939 Boston Bruins as the only players ever to record three overtime-winning goals in a single Stanley Cup playoff year.


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