Thanks to two primary assists and a steadying presence on the blueline by William Villeneuve, the Saint John Sea Dogs beat the Hamilton Bulldogs 6-3 to win the Memorial Cup. It was a fun game to watch, especially since Saint John was the host city and the building was packed and loud.
Villeneuve had a solid game. He contributed early, with two primary assists in the first five minutes of the game. Saint John stayed ahead the rest of the way. His first assist, he made a nice move at the blueline (partially cut off by the replay below) to elude a defender and move the puck across the ice for a point shot goal.
Here's the goal, a nice job by Villeneuve dancing along the blueline to wait the play out and keep it in.pic.twitter.com/V0A9ZfuhHM— Ale-STAN-dro Kirk (@brigstew86) June 29, 2022
The second goal, Villeneuve’s awareness of where his teammates are on the ice helped him rush this play that set up the shot.
Here's the replay. Villeneuve gets to the puck quick so he can fire the pass into the slot while MacDonald was open. Real smart play, good awareness of the passing lane to seize on the good chance.pic.twitter.com/OzS5it8GHC— Ale-STAN-dro Kirk (@brigstew86) June 29, 2022
It was a heck of a run from Saint John, who were upset in the first round of the QMJHL playoffs as one of the favourites and got into the Memorial Cup as the host team. They fired their coaching staff between their elimination and the Memorial Cup starting, and it paid off for them.
William Villeneuve’s season ends with the ultimate success. He had 56 points in 64 games in the regular season playing tons of minutes as their top all situations defenseman. He added another three points in four Memorial Cup games, and he will likely turn pro for next season to join the Marlies and continue his development.
There was a real good profile from Joshua Kloke at the Athletic, interviewing Villeneuve leading up to the start of the Memorial Cup. He talked about how he worked to transform his game with the help of the Leafs’ development staff, naming Danielle Goyette throughout. It will give you a good indication of the direction the Leafs are trying to go with him.
LINKS FROM THE BRANCHES
2022 NHL Draft Profile: Isaiah George | By brigstew
The reason why I like George as either a third round pick for Toronto, or as an option as a later second rounder if they acquire one in a trade, is because I believe there could be more there offensively. I always like a defenseman who is a) a brilliant skater, and b) has a good foundation already to work with. He has the tools to be a pretty safe bet to wind up being a third pairing defenseman who can kill penalties and hold his own at even strength.
Even if he doesn’t have a lot of points, he has enough skill to push play in the right direction. That to me is more important than scoring points for a defenseman. That said, it would be nice to have more of both and I think he could.
5 potential third-round targets for the Toronto Maple Leafs | by TLN
To begin the year, Moldenhauer was sidelined with an illness that kept him out through Chicago’s training camp and the first month of the season. Upon finally getting back to health and making his season debut, Moldenhauer was cut on the jawline by an errant skate in his first shift back in action.
As if the illness that saw him lose 15 pounds wasn’t bad enough, Moldenhauer then had to go through the traumatic experience of the skate cut and an ensuing long surgery to repair the damaged artery in his face.
How can Maple Leafs fill their biggest holes this offseason? 10 free agents who could help | by The Athletic
It’s hard to think of many goaltenders who landed pricey, long-term contracts with the kind of limited resume that Husso has. Even Linus Ullmark had started 112 NHL games before Boston gave him a four-year contract ($5 million cap hit) last summer. Husso has less than half that experience, just 53 starts so far in the NHL — most of them to great success last season. If that performance for the Blues (.919 save percentage) was real, or even sorta real, the Leafs are in business with a 27-year-old who’s 6-foot-3 and more than 200 pounds.
Back home, Muslim hockey community beaming after Kadri’s historic moment | by Sportsnet
After the Stanley Cup had passed through the hands of every winner in a Colorado Avalanche sweater on Sunday night, after all but a small pack of fans had filtered out of Amalie Arena, and the frenzy had settled slightly, Nazem Kadri and his father Samir stood out on the ice, arms around each other, spinning with excitement. His mother Sue was nearby, head shaking and hand over her mouth in disbelief at what her son had just achieved, before soon joining in the embrace, too.
For the first time in NHL history, a Muslim player had won the Stanley Cup, and would have his name etched upon it.
Bernice Carnegie on family pride over late father’s Hall of Fame nod | by TSN.ca
Before Willie O’Ree broke the National Hockey League’s colour barrier with the Boston Bruins in 1958, Herb Carnegie, also a Black man, was working his way through Canada’s senior hockey system. Carnegie was born in Toronto in 1919 to Jamaican immigrants and took up the sport as a child.
Unlike O’Ree, however, Carnegie never got an opportunity to suit up in the NHL.
That’s my other article today for @YahooSportsNHL https://t.co/TbNSXdOxhl— Ian Kennedy (@IanKennedyCK) June 29, 2022
There’s more fallout for Hockey Canada and the sexual assault scandal, with other sponsors pausing their funding and more pressure coming from the government.
Also connected with MP who expects Hockey Canada execs will be required explain in more detail why HC settled the sexual assault lawsuit on behalf of all defendants, inc. John Does 1-8.— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) June 29, 2022
MP: "If you don't know the identities of the players, why would you let them off the hook?"
Tim Hortons says it is “suspending support” for the upcoming world juniors as the company waits for information on how Hockey Canada plans to move forward.— Joshua Clipperton (@JClipperton_CP) June 29, 2022
“We believe Canadians are urgently seeking concrete details.” pic.twitter.com/fFjMqyBnO4
Unlike yesterday, we’ll end today’s FTB with some sad news.
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jim Pappin.— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) June 29, 2022
Jim played 5 seasons in Toronto, winning the Stanley Cup in 1964 & ‘67. Named one of the 100 Greatest Leafs, he scored the Cup-winning goal and led team in scoring in ‘67.
Our thoughts are with his family & friends. pic.twitter.com/w3adMFuzGD