The Seattle Thunderbirds are up against the brink for the first time in more than a year. The Memorial Cup host Windsor Spitfires truly had their way with the WHL champions Sunday at the WFCU Centre, sending the Thunderbirds to the bottom of the standings while placing themselves firmly on top.
The odds might have been stacked against them. But the Cobourg Cougars found a way to win and keep winning at this year’s RBC Cup tournament.
Sean Day has truly benefited from a change of scenery with the Mastercard Memorial Cup host Windsor Spitfires. In three seasons with the Mississauga Steelheads, it was clear that he had a lot of talent, but he struggled to find his identity as a defenceman and faced a lot of scrutiny from many who didn’t feel he lived up to the “exceptional status” label he was given in 2013.
Carl Stankowski continues to be the story for the Seattle Thunderbirds. The T-Birds left the WFCU Centre with a 4-2 loss to the OHL champion Erie Otters in the first all-American Memorial Cup matchup since 2007, but Stankowski was the reason Seattle stayed in the conversation until the final buzzer.
The Cobourg Cougars will get the chance to hoist the national RBC Cup on home ice on Sunday. The Cougars, members of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, earned a spot in the national Junior A championship final by downing the British Columbia Hockey League’s Penticton Vees 3-1 on Saturday.
Judging from the Windsor Spitfires performance on opening night of the 2017 MasterCard Memorial Cup, their 44 day layoff from the CHL postseason suited them just fine. On April 4, Windsor was eliminated from the OHL playoffs after losing in seven games to the London Knights.
The Cobourg Cougars are certainly proving they belong among the teams vying to win the national RBC Cup championship. As hosts, the Cougars, members of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, were awarded an automatic berth into the five-team national tournament, which began May 13 and continues until this Sunday’s championship final.
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.
After just four head coaching changes prior to the 2016-17 NCAA Division 1 men's hockey season, the bench boss carousel has almost doubled this off season.
Apair of U SPORTS (formerly CIS) men's hockey coaches have had the interim tag removed from their portfolios after successful campaigns in 2016-17.
The sun is shining and the puck is dropping on spring tournaments across the country. We check in on just a few in our 2017 Season of Tournaments. Don’t miss the full spread in our May edition, now available in print at your local rink and online here.
Robert Thomas has inched his way up the rankings all year and finds himself in the top 25 with just over a month to draft day. Moving 43 spots since December where he debuted at #64, the London Knights high-scoring forward has made the steady rise to now sit at #21.
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2) Road to the RBC Cup: Cougars Captain Josh Maguire Ready to Return for Nationals
3) Western Canada Cup Finals Set with Brooks Against Chilliwack
4) St. Albert Slash Make History at 2017 Esso Cup
5) Supporting Casts Will be Key in OHL Final