Savoie Starts Strong At The Memorial Cup


Komarov and Drummondville were shut out by London in tourney opener

The 2024 Memorial Cup opened up in Saginaw, Michigan on Saturday and Buffalo Sabres prospects Matthew Savoie and Vsevolod Komarov will likely play a big part in whether their clubs achieve the ultimate prize.

Savoie (Buffalo’s top pick at the 2022 NHL Draft) and his Moose Jaw Warriors opened up the six-game round-robin against the host Saginaw Spirit on Saturday and had two points (1 goal, 1 assist) in a 5-4 loss. The game was a tale of two halves, as the Warriors spotted Saginaw a 4-0 lead by midway through the second, but then rallied to narrow the gap to 4-3 by the end of the middle frame.

Former Sabres prospect Josh Bloom scored the game-winner early in the third, but Savoie (who has 10 goals, and 14 assists in 19 postseason games) replied late in regulation to narrow the gap to one goal, but the Warriors could not manage the equalizer.

Komarov and the QMJHL champion Drummondville Voltigeurs took on the London Knights in their opener and the OHL champs took control early with a pair of first-period goals from overager Ruslan Gazizov and Philadelphia first-rounder Oliver Bonk and two more in the third from Gazizov and San Jose second rounder Kasper Halttunen in a 4-0 shutout victory.

The 20-year-old Russian blueliner, who won the Émile-Bouchard Trophy winner as the QMJHL’s best defenseman earlier and the Guy Lafleur Trophy as league’s playoff MVP was -2 on the night.

The Voltigeurs will hope to prevent digging themselves a 0-2 hole on Sunday night as they take on the Spirit, while Moose Jaw will hope to do the same against the Knights on Monday night.

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