Steven Shipley (-1) saw his season come to an end Friday as the Niagara IceDogs were defeated by the London Knights 2-1 in game #5 of the OHL Championship. The IceDogs lose the series 4-1 to complete their most successful season in franchise history, while the Knights pack their bags for Shawinigan, Quebec and a spot in the 2012 Memorial Cup.
Austin Watson (NAS) and Seth Griffith each potted their 10th of the season to lead the Knights to their second-ever title, while Michael Houser continued his excellence with 26 saves.
Shipley, who retreated to the dressing room late in the middle frame after getting clipped with a Jarred Tinordi high stick, started the playoffs on a tear with five goals and an assist in his first four postseason games. He was ultimately counted on for faceoffs and responsible two-way play the rest of the way, notching three assists through the final 16 games. His mark of the postseason likely wasn't a goal but rather a key shot block in the final minute of the Dogs Eastern Conference clinching win over Ottawa. Being a 2010 draft pick, the Sabres have until June 1st to decide whether or not they wish they to maintain his NHL rights by signing him to an NHL contract.
London joins the QMJHL champion Saint John Sea Dogs and the host Shawinigan Cataractes at the 2012 Memorial Cup beginning May 18th. The weekend will bring us the fourth and final entry from the WHL as Mark Pysyk's Edmonton Oil Kings look to close out their 3-2 series lead over the Portland Winterhawks.