Ontario Hockey League teams did in the first decade of the new millennium as they did over the past two decades. OHL teams won the Memorial Cup on three occasions. With 60 teams spread over three leagues competing for the ultimate major junior hockey prize, the odds are pretty high of teams from each league winning three times in a ten year span.
At the 2003 Memorial Cup tournament, no one could beat the Kitchener Rangers as the won the Cup. Hamilton met the Hull Olympique in the final game and doubled up on the QMJHL team 6-3. The tournament was held in Quebec City and, besides Kitchener and Hull, the Kelowna Rockets and Quebec Remparts also participated. Derek Roy of the Rangers was awarded the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as the Memorial Cup most valuable player.
Kitchener finished first overall in the OHL during the regular season, earning the team the Hamilton Spectator Trophy. The Rangers met the Ottawa 67’s in the Robertson Cup finals and won four games to one. It was closer than it looked with three of the five games going to overtime. Kitchener was led by current NHLers Mike Richards, Derek Roy and Gregory Campbell.
The 2005 Memorial Cup run for the host team and champion London Knights had a few parallels to that of the Kitchener Rangers two years before. As Kitchener did, London met the Ottawa 67’s in the Robertson Cup finals and won in five games. Once again, the Kelowna Rockets were the representative from the WHL. London went undefeated in the tournament, beating the Rimouski Oceanic 4-0 in the final game. Corey Perry of the London Knights was the Smythe Trophy recipient after his battle with Sidney Crosby of the Oceanic.
London was led by current NHL stars Corey Perry, David Bolland and Brandon Prust. The team finished first overall during the regular season with the highest point total ever recorded in the history of the league. Many records were set by the Knights in their amazing 2004-05 season.
In 2009, the Windsor Spitfires showed resilience, going 1-2 in the round robin before marching to the final game where they beat the Kelowna Rockets 4-1 to become Memorial Cup champions for the first time in franchise history. The tournament was hosted by Rimouski, Quebec and just like four years previous, Kelowna and Rimouski participated. The fourth team in 2009 was the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL. Taylor Hall of the Spitfires was awarded the Stafford Smythe Trophy.
Windsor took a run at London’s regular season records from 2004-05 but fell slightly short. They were first overall and had little problems making it to the Robertson Cup finals where they beat the Brampton Battalion 4-1. Windsor was led by Ryan Ellis, Taylor Hall and Adam Henrique.