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Easton Cowan’s dream season ends in Memorial Cup final nightmare

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Photo credit:twitter.com/londonknights
Arun Srinivasan
16 days ago
Easton Cowan almost singlehandedly completed a Memorial Cup final comeback for the ages but it wasn’t enough as the Saginaw Spirit defeated the London Knights 4-3 on Sunday evening.
Cowan registered a goal and an assist as the Knights fought back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the national championship game at 3-3 but Saginaw’s Josh Bloom notched the game-winning goal with 21.7 seconds left to capture the Memorial Cup.
London’s superstar forward scored in the third period, cutting Saginaw’s lead to 3-2, beating Andrew Oke through traffic. Cowan worked valiantly to overcome a first-period deficit, punctuated by two goals from Saginaw’s Owen Beck.
Earlier in the contest, Cowan registered a primary assist on Kasper Halttunen’s second-period goal. It’s not going to be atop his highlight reel but Cowan took a hit from a Spirit defender to extend the play, before Halttunen finished it off with a wicked release.
Saginaw exacted its revenge. Cowan authored his signature performance against the Spirit, notching two goals including the game-winner and two assists in a 4-2 victory on May 29. It was a game where Cowan — Toronto’s top prospect and potentially the future face of the franchise took on Michael Misa, the presumptive No. 2 pick in the 2025 NHL Draft and Zayne Parekh, a presumed top-10 pick in this summer’s event — and was the best player on the ice. Cowan was London’s best player in Sunday’s final but ultimately, it may end up being a historical footnote.
Cowan shattered even the most optimistic projections for his first post-NHL Draft year, dominating for the Knights a year after unexpectedly being selected No. 28 overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Cowan won the Red Tilson Trophy, awarded to the OHL MVP, before capturing the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award, given to the OHL playoff MVP, en route to leading the Knights to the Memorial Cup Final.
 
It appeared that London was ready to cement its legacy as one of the best teams in recent Ontario Hockey League history with Cowan at the forefront, although it should be noted that Saginaw finished just two points behind during the regular season.
During a scorching season where his speed and tenacity overwhelmed major junior opponents, Cowan silenced his legion of critics. He very well could end up as a fixture of the Maple Leafs’ roster as early as next fall, contesting for a roster spot until the final days of training camp. Cowan’s 2024 campaign was everything the Knights and the Maple Leafs could’ve wished for but the season culminated in a nightmarish heartbreak.

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