No lead is ever safe in junior hockey, even a five-goal one. That’s the hole the Regina Pats were faced with just minutes into the third period of their game against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in Day 3 action of the 2018 MasterCard Memorial Cup in Regina.
Eliminated from their league’s playoffs in the first round in mid-March, the Chilliwack Chiefs had a lot of downtime to prepare for the RBC Cup they would be hosting two months later in May.
It didn’t take long for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan to show that they belong at this spring’s MasterCard Memorial Cup. Entering the 100th edition of the tournament as one of the two smallest markets in the Canadian Hockey League, the Titan came up with an effort that befits their name.
One doesn’t have to look hard to see some parallels between this year’s Regina Pats and last year’s Windsor Spitfires. The Pats are hosting this year’s MasterCard Memorial Cup like the Spitfires did last year.
They may not be the hosts, but the Swift Current Broncos have been plotting their path to the Memorial Cup for months. The Broncos kicked off the season on a frenetic pace led by their staggeringly effective top line of Glenn Gawdin, Tyler Steenbergen and Aleksi Heponiemi.
The long wait is finally over for the Regina Pats. The Pats fell one goal shy of forcing overtime in Game 7 of their opening round Western Hockey League playoff series against the eventual champion Swift Current Broncos.
The last time the Acadie-Bathurst Titan qualified for the Memorial Cup, Jean Chretien was the Prime Minister of Canada and composite hockey sticks were on the verge of revolutionizing hockey forever.
Four days into the 2018 RBC Cup and it’s been as competitive as one could wish, with all but one game ending by a goal. The early leader after three games are the British Columbia Hockey League’s (BCHL) Wenatchee Wild, the lone American entry in the tournament, who are 3-0 with two overtime wins.
The Hamilton Bulldogs didn’t need an ace in the hole to reach the 2018 MasterCard Memorial Cup. Along with the Regina Pats and Oshawa Generals, they were a finalist in the Memorial Cup bidding process last year, and most figured the NHL-sized FirstOntario Centre, hotels in the downtown core and Hamilton’s proximity to Toronto would give them the edge.
The 23rd RBC Cup kicks off with five teams all looking for their first National Junior A title in team history. Hosted by the British Columbia Hockey League’s (BCHL) Chilliwack Chiefs, the RBC Cup brings in four other teams from across the country, and in this year’s case, one American team for the second time.
This week the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) is announcing the recipients of the 2017-18 OHA Awards, starting with this season’s Top Prospects awards.
ISS Hockey releases their May list of Top 31 Prospect Rankings for the NHL Draft. Along with Kirill Marchenko, Jonatan Berggren, and Matthias Samuelsson breaking the rankings, Serron Noel makes the most notable climb from 21 to 14, since breaking the list at 31 in December.
1) JUNIOR B UPDATE: KIJHL’s Castlegar Rebels announce new coach and GM; Sharp calling the shots for HJHL’s Three Hills Thrashers
2) On Top of the World: CSSHL Keeps Gaining Traction in Canada’s Hockey Landscape
3) Around the WHL: Eleven WHL players help Canada win Hlinka Gretzky gold; Tigers deal White to ICE
4) Meet Matthew Savoie, the NAX Forward Taking the CSSHL by Storm
5) Meet The Winners Of The 2018 HockeyNow Minor Hockey Player Of The Year Award Powered By Hockeyshot