Game of inches, indeed. The London Knights are OHL champions by the literal thinnest of margins after Bo Horvat, completing a playoff MVP campaign, scored with one second left in regulation time to give London a 3-2 win over the Barrie Colts on Monday.
London is the champion, but one could pass through many parallel universes without seeing two junior hockey teams lay it on the line the way each team did on Monday. Horvat's goal was initially waved off on the ice and one had to squint to see the white ice between the goal line and the puck before Barrie goalie Mathias Niederberger could swipe it away. It was good — both officially and as the climax to a series that was more dramatic than the pundits expected.
It was just the last cliffhanger. Barrie forged on without first-line centre Mark Scheifele and left wing Anthony Camara and nearly wrested away the lead in the final three minutes. After Mitchell Theoret collected the puck off a faceoff and tied the game 2-2 with 2:53 left, Josh MacDonald came thisclose to putting the Colts into an unlikely lead.
One can only imagine how the Colts felt to have some so sadistically close to dethroning London with its entire first line either hobbled or out of action. Niederberger made 45 saves to keep Barrie in the hunt for 59 minutes 59 seconds, including one on Alex Broadhurst that should not be forgotten.
All part of a rich tapestry. London is the champs and deservedly so but no one really lost, eh.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org (videos: Rogers Television).