SHAWINIGAN, Sunday, May 27, 2012 – Anton Zlobin scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, to lead the Shawinigan Cataractes to a 2-1 victory over the London Knights and capture the first MasterCard Memorial Cup title in franchise history.
Shawinigan becomes the ninth host team since 1983 to win the title, and the first to eliminate all three league champions (WHL, OHL and QMJHL) in three straight games.
The London Knights were the first to get on the board at 5:42. Matt Rupert was the author of a beautiful feed to Ryan Rupert who netted his second goal of the tournament.
The Cataractes had an opportunity to tie the score up at one on the power-play, but they failed to register even a shot on goal during the man advantage.
London played a very tight first period, limiting Shawinigan to four shots on goal.
Zlobin tied the score at 3:01 of the second period. He let go a wrist-shot that deflected on a defenseman’s skate before crossing the blue-line. The marker was Zlobin’s fourth of the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup.
The Knights opened up play after the Shawinigan goal but Gabriel Girard was just brilliant with countless big saves.
In the third period both goaltenders shone, each pushing away eight shots on goal to keep it tied at one heading into overtime.
With just over two minutes left in the first overtime, Zlobin sent the Centre Bionest crowd into a frenzy by scoring his second goal of the night and fifth of the tournament helping the Shawinigan Cataractes capture the MasterCard Memorial, the first championship in team history.
Without great surprise, Zlobin was named the game’s first star.
The sellout crowd of 5,250 was the largest crowd to watch a Cataractes game in Centre Bionest history. The overtime finish also marked the eighth time the Championship Final required extra time since 1983, and the first time since the 2001 event.