Otters, Sea Dogs and Thunderbirds flock to Windsor to join Spitfires at 99th Memorial Cup
After 68 games (72 in the WHL), four playoff rounds, countless hours spent at practices and on the bus, it all comes down to this.
The Erie Otters, Saint John Sea Dogs and Seattle Thunderbirds all captured championships in their respective leagues and will push a little further through four to six games in an effort to claim junior hockey supremacy at the Memorial Cup.
Meanwhile, the Windsor Spitfires enter as tournament hosts, a bid they won after meeting a set list of criteria, which included having a strong team that’s confident enough to go up against the best in the country.
Only two host teams, the 2007 Vancouver Giants and 2012 Shawinigan Cataractes, have won the tournament in the last 10 years, while the 2005 London Knights are the last host team to win a league championship before capturing the Memorial Cup.
The Otters and Spitfires will be looking to keep the cup in the OHL for a third straight year after the Oshawa Generals and Knights were victorious in the last two tournaments.
Seattle is the only team in the draw that hasn’t appeared in the Memorial Cup before, while the Spitfires and Sea Dogs aren’t far removed from their last championship runs.
Taylor Hall led Windsor to back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010 before Jonathan Huberdeau and the Sea Dogs followed in 2011.
Of course, the tournament has been a launchpad for the careers of many great NHL stars.
Recent examples include Mitch Marner’s lights out performance in leading the London Knights to last year’s title and Nathan MacKinnon’s hat trick that sealed the 2013 championship for the Halifax Mooseheads.
Who will step up as the hero at this year’s event? We’re sure to have a lot of fun watching over nine days as we find out.Back to Top
1) Prospect Profiles: Ty Smith, Andrei Svechnikov & Joe Veleno
2) CSSHL Expanding in 2017-18 Season
3) Oilers Assistant Coach Jay Woodcroft on Creating Offence from the Cycle
4) Prospect Profile: Jonny Tychonick, Evan Bouchard & Benoit-Olivier Groulx
5) Mom Mondays: Giving Thanks for Hockey!