NHL Playoffs and World Championship aren’t the only excitement going on right now – The 2018 Memorial Cup began on Friday which means there is lots of play to discuss! Each of the 4 teams will play each other once before one gets eliminated, one gets a bye to the final, and the middle two play for the second spot in the final. With such a short schedule, every game is hugely important and makes this a great tournament to spot clutch performers in a true best-on-best setting. In case you missed their respective playoff wins, this year’s teams in contention are:
Swift Current Broncos (WHL champs)
Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL champs)
Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL champs)
Regina Pats (host city)
A full tournament schedule can be found here: http://mastercardmemorialcup.ca/schedule/62, and here’s a recap of the games so far:
On Friday, the Regina Pats pulled off a win against Hamilton Bulldogs 3-2.
1st Star: Josh Mahura (ANH) – 1G, 1A, 7SOG
2nd Star: Nick Henry (COL) – 1G, 1A, 6SOG
3rd Star: Robert Thomas (STL) – 1G, 5SOG
Lots of NHL draftees in this matchup – in addition to the three stars of the game, Sam Steel (ANH) had 1G + 1A, Libor Hajek (NYR) had 1A, and Matt Strome (PHI) had 1A. 2018 Draft-Eligible Max Paddock (2018) stopped 31 of 33 shots faced in the opener. Given how quickly Hamilton cut through the OHL playoffs, seeing a loss to Regina (who were eliminated from WHL playoffs early on) was unexpected. Good for the hosts!
On Saturday, Acadie-Bathurst defeated Swift Current 4-3 in OT.
1st Star: Giorgio Estephan (BUF) – 2G, 1A, 3SOG
2nd Star: Samuel Asselin (2018 Draft) – 2G, 3SOG
3rd Star: Jeffrey-Truchon Viel (SJS) – 3A, 3SOG, +4
Other NHL property in action here included Colby Sissons (NJD) with 2A, Aleksi Heponiemi (FLA) and Tyler Steenburgen (ARI) who suffered an injury after being boarded (according to most viewers but not the refs). High-profile 2018 Draft Eligible Noah Dobson (2018) was present for the Titan; the prospective Top-10 pick managed an assist on the OT winner, 2SOG, and a plus-2 rating on the night.
#MemorialCup: Nice fake and attack by Noah Dobson, and his backhand pass gets popped in by Liam Murphy. Acadie-Bathurst beats Swift Current 4-3 in OT. Evan Fitzpatrick was huge but credit the Titan for never quitting and then turning the tables. pic.twitter.com/Mx7PwyETlU— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) May 19, 2018
Today, the Titan are back in action against the Pats at 5pm MDT. There are games every night until the final, so no excuses for not catching some of the action!
As mentioned in the into – The World Championship is also on! This isn’t new news, its been a few weeks, but the eliminations rounds have included a few shockers – the latest being the Swiss defeat of Canada to advance to the final!!! Sweden also steamrolled USA to play for gold. There’s a few NHL prospects worth mentioning:
- Lias Andersson (NYR) is one win away from getting the gold he for Sweden desperately wanted at the WJC (everybody duck if he gets another silver)
- Jacob de la Rose (MTL) had an assist in Sweden’s 6-0 semifinal win
- Elias Petterson (VAN) underwent thumb surgery and was not participated in the last few games for Sweden
- Pierre-Luc Dubois (CLB) had an assist in Canada’s defeat
- Tyson Jost (COL) finished the tournament with 6 points in 8 games (I had to get at least one Colorado player in this ramblings 😉 )
Thank you for reading, and whichever playoff you’re watching, enjoy! The best hockey of the year is being played right now.
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