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Flyers Prospects Fall Short in Comeback Attempt, Lose Memorial Cup Final

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(Photo: London Knights)

With the 2023-24 junior hockey season officially coming to a close, the Philadelphia Flyers won’t be adding any more silverware to their ranks this summer. Flyers prospects and London Knights stars Denver Barkey and Oliver Bonk had their Memorial Cup dreams crushed on Sunday night, losing to the host Saginaw Spirit, 4-3, in the Memorial Cup Final.

Barkey finishes his Memorial Cup campaign with one goal, three assists, and four points in four games, while Bonk wrapped things up with one goal, five assists, and six points in four games, including two assists to help spark a comeback against Saginaw on Sunday.

The Knights–heavily favored against Saginaw, who were the Cup’s only non-championship club–came out impossibly flat to start the Memorial Cup Final. Two first period goals from Montreal Canadiens prospect Owen Beck put Saginaw up 2-0 as Barkey, Bonk, and the Knights finished the opening frame with… one shot on goal in total.

It didn’t help that Landon Sim’s five-minute major Illegal Check to the Head penalty and game misconduct with 1:02 left in the period gave Saginaw an elongated power play, where Beck scored his second goal. Talk about making things harder on you and your team.

And while Saginaw would eventually extend their lead to 3-0 via a Joey Willis goal, Bonk gave the Flyers and Flyers fans something to take away from this one.

The Flyers’ 2023 first-round pick helped jumpstart London’s comeback efforts, earning secondary assists on Easton Cowan and Kasper Halttunen’s second and third period goals. Not long after, Sam Dickinson, Bonk’s defense partner for the contest, came to the rescue, tying the game at 3-3 after converting on an odd-man rush.

Unfortunately for Barkey, Bonk, and the Flyers, London’s Memorial Cup hopes, despite their miraculous comeback, came to a screeching halt. Saginaw’s Josh Bloom managed to cash in on a scramble in the blue paint, calling game and giving the hosts a 4-3 lead with just 22 seconds remaining.

The play started with Max McCue’s failed clearance attempt, followed by Bonk and Dickinson’s diving block attempts. The puck just managed to squeak through Bonk’s legs and toward goalie Michael Simpson who, evidently, did not cleanly track the puck to his crease. The rest is history.

That’s hockey.

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