Knights Ready For Game One

The London Knights celebrate a goal at the WFCU Centre in Windsor, playoffs 2014. (Photo by Mike Vlasveld)

It’s been over a month since the London Knights played an official game. But the entire team expects to be ready for Friday night’s opening game of the MasterCard Memorial Cup.

The Knights play the QMJHL champion Val-d’or Foreurs.

Captain Chris Tierney says they’re ready.

“I thought the guys had a lot of jump this week,” says Tierney, referring to the team’s practices where players tried to stay sharp, despite not having played an official game since being knocked out of the OHL playoffs by Guelph on April 11. “Everyone is looking forward to the Memorial Cup. Everyone is hungry. It’s a lot of guys’ last shot here and it’s something we really want.”

It was announced Thursday that Anthony Stolarz will get the start in goal for the Knights, and he says any rust the team had has been shaken off at practice.

“We did a lot of drills to get us ready. We did a lot of game drills where we focused on plays that happen often. Bad angle shots, little rebounds, tips from the point, so I think working on things like that got us really prepared for the tournament,” says Stolarz.

Memorial Cup officials say Chief Warrant Officer Sam Carr will drop the ceremonial puck at 7:19pm.  That will be followed by The Trews performing live, Highway of Heroes.  At 7:25pm, the Memorial Cup will be piped in to Budweiser Gardens by London police and other military personnel. There’ll be a moment of silence followed by the anthem, then the game at 7:30pm.