SAINT JOHN, New Brunswick (AP) — Vincent Sevigny and Cam MacDonald scored early and the host Saint John Sea Dogs won the Memorial Cup, beating the Ontario Hockey League champion Hamilton Bulldogs 6-3 on Wednesday night.
Saint John won its second Memorial Cup title in four appearances, rebounding from a first-round loss to Rimouski in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playofffs. The Sea Dogs also won in 2011 in Mississauga, Ontario, and lost in the semifinal games in 2012 and 2017.
It was another national title for Gardiner MacDougall, a seven-time University Cup champion with the University of New Brunswick, who replaced Gordie Dwyer as interim head coach May 22.
“It was just a complete team effort,” MacDougall said. “The players are most important. They really bought in and they were all so receptive. This is as hard as I have ever worked a team.”
Riley Bezeau, William Dufour, Josh Lawrence and Peter Reynolds also scored, and Nikolas Hurtubise made 25 saves.
“We have worked so hard and I am so, so proud,” Hurtubise said. “We knew that we worked too hard in the past month to not win it. We earned it.”
Mason McTavish scored twice for Hamilton. Jan Mysak also connected.
“The message to the boys was they’re a champion of champions,” Hamilton coach Jay McKee said. “What made the difference is (Saint John) capitalized on their big chances.”
Sevigny opened the scoring 2:35 in and MacDonald made it 2-0 at 5:47. McTavish cut it to 2-1 at 7:45 of the first.
Bezeau and Dufour scored in a 34-second span early in the second period. Mysak got one back for Hamilton with nine seconds left in the second.
Lawrence made it 5-2 at 6:32 of the third.
“It makes it more special because everyone thought we were the underdogs, not the Sea Dogs,” owner Scott McCain said “You know what? We proved we deserved to be here. We were the best team in the round robin and we won this game decisively today.”