Owen Beck's Two Goals Lead Saginaw To Memorial Cup Title in Final Junior Hockey Game

Owen Beck and the Saginaw Spirit finally slay the dragon and defeat the London Knights to win their first Memorial Cup.
Owen Beck celebrating goal in Memorial Cup Final
Owen Beck celebrating goal in Memorial Cup Final / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

Owen Beck had plenty of motivation entering this Memorial Cup Final. The game marks his final one in junior hockey as he moves on to play with the Canadiens or Rocket next season. Beck was a force from the onset, scoring two goals in the opening period and laying out Maple Leafs top prospect Easton Cowan with a thundering hit. The Memorial Cup Final showed what Beck could be as a member of the Canadiens, as he led his team to Canada's oldest and most prestigious hockey trophy.

It's a tale as old as time that you see in sports across the professional, amateur, and minor ranks. A team has their opponent's number all season, winning big games and crucial matchups, but when it's time for the championship, the losing team all season comes back and gets redemption. The London Knights were in a good spot heading into this tournament, the odds-on favorite after defeating the Saginaw Spirit in the Conference Finals of the OHL and sweeping Oshawa in the finals. The Knights took down the Spirit in the round-robin again, booking their ticket to the final, while Saginaw had to beat Moose Jaw. Saginaw dominated from the start of the semi-final, setting up one more rematch with the Knights.

Saginaw 4 - London 3

Owen Beck got the Spirit out to a 1-0 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the first period, depositing a shot after a scramble off a broken faceoff play. Beck demonstrated his lethal shot with the tally, showing that offensive help is soon coming for the Habs.

The play that Beck made after his first goal will likely bring a smile to the faces of many Habs fans. Easton Cowan is a rising prospect for the Maple Leafs, who starred with the Knights this season. In a highlight that Canadiens fans hope they'll see on a Saturday night on Hockey Night in Canada soon, Beck lit up an unsuspecting Cowan with a beautiful hit on the backcheck.

Beck gave an even greater example of his shot less than ten minutes after his first one, taking advantage of a five-minute powerplay to extend the lead to 2-0. Knights forward Landon Sim hit Zayne Parekh with a vicious elbow to the head, which the referees ejected him for after a short review.

It's hard to win a game when you have fewer shots than the other team has goals. Joey Willis scored, making it 3-0 for Saginaw, and with ten minutes remaining in the second period, the Spirit were outshooting the Knights 18-1. The Knights picked up their offense to end the second, with Kasper Halttunen getting them back into the game late with the 3-1 marker.

Easton Cowan wouldn't let Beck be the only top prospect who gets some recognition in this game, as he slid a precise shot across the ice to beat the goaltender and bring the deficit to within one. The Knights weren't done there, as one of the top prospects for the 2024 NHL Draft Sam Dickinson joined the rush and tied it 3-3.

Beck's line had one more dramatic moment left in them, as Josh Bloom snuck home a net-front scramble to give the Spirit a 4-3 lead with 21 seconds remaining. The Knights failed to generate another chance, and the Spirit finally won a big game against their new rivals.

Owen Beck won the Memorial Cup MVP for his efforts, a fitting end to a great career in the CHL.

Owen Beck's storied Junior Hockey Career ended with a bang, winning the first Memorial Cup in Saginaw history.