It was a long-weekend in Canada, but you could forgive the 2014 MasterCard Memorial Cup host London Knights if they didn’t feel in the mood for celebrating. In fact, a noted lack of fireworks so far has left London with a very real risk of being relegated to the role of gracious host as opposed to conquering heroes in front of their 8,900-plus fans at the Budweiser Gardens.
All year long, the London Knights talked about how, despite a guaranteed berth in the 2014 Memorial Cup Tournament as the host squad, the team wanted to enter the tournament through the proverbial front door. When the Guelph Storm slammed that door shut with a 4-1 series victory on April 11th, it changed the way the team needed to approach the finals.
Team Canada head coach Kevin Dineen has had a varied 2013-14 season, having taken the Canadian women's team to a gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics while also guiding Canada to a bronze medal at the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship.
Winning gold was the goal for Team Canada at the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship, but the defending gold medalists instead had to settle for bronze this time around. Canada defeated Sweden 3-1 to take the bronze medal game in Lappeenranta, Finland, a game in which the Canadians were outshot by the Swedes, 39-26.