Monday, May 27, 2013

1. There can be no doubting which team was the best one in this Memorial Cup. The Halifax Mooseheads beat the Portland Winterhawks 6-4 in Sunday’s final, the second time in this tournament that the QMJHL champions beat the WHL’s best. . . . The Moosheads completed this season with a 77-8-4 mark (58-64 in the regular season; 16-1 in the playoffs; 3-1 in the Memorial Cup).
2. The referees for the final were Kendrick Nicholson of the OHL and Nathan Wieler of the WHL. The linesmen were WHL officials Bevan Mills and Nathan Van Oosten. . . . Referees Jean-Philippe Sylvain of the QMJHL and Reagan Vetter of the WHL didn’t work again after doing Portland’s 4-2 victory over the Saskatoon Blades on Wednesday. They missed the call when Saskatoon D Dalton Thrower hit Portland F Taylor Leier.
3. The Memorial Cup’s tournament format was first put into play in 1972. Since then, the WHL has won 18 times, but none since 2008), the OHL 14 and the QMJHL 10. . . . The QMJHL has won the past three tournaments, the first time it has had three straight winners.
4. The Mooseheads were a QMJHL expansion franchise for the 1994-95 season. They won the city’s first QMJHL championship this season. Yes, this was the franchise’s first Memorial Cup title.
5. The Mooseheads led the final 5-2 at 11:11 of the third period. At that point, Halifax players had picked QMJHLup 15 points. Those 15 points, however, were split among just four players — F Jonathan Drouin, who finished the game with five assists, F Nathan MacKinnon, who ended up with three goals and two assists, F Martin Frk and D Konrad Abeltshauser, who enjoyed his second two-goal game of this season.
6. Drouin’s five assists tied a Memorial Cup single-game record that had been held by F Dan Hodgson of the Prince Albert Raiders. He drew five assists in an 8-6 round-robin victory over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds on May 14, 1985. The Raiders went on to beat the host Shawinigan Cataractes 6-1 in that event’s final game.
7. Attendance at Sunday’s final was announced at 11,488, leaving the tournament total at 85,503, the fourth-highest in the event’s history.
8. A tweet from Vancouver-based journalist Bob Mackin (@bobmackin): “Beer-branded Halifax Mooseheads win Memorial Cup. Eight players on major junior champion squad not yet legal drinking age.”
9. Lost in Halifax’s victory was the fact that Portland F Ty Rattie went out with a goal and three assists.
10. Dave Struch, the Saskatoon Blades’ associate coach, wants to be a head coach. He just doesn’t know whether he will get to coach the Blades. . . . Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix has more right here.
11. Thanks to the gang at 92.9 The Bull for providing so much live coverage of the Memorial Cup tournament, from beginning to end. It was listenable and it was entertaining and the listener can't ask for anything more than that.
When the 2008-09 WHL season began, Rich Kromm was the head coach of the Portland Winterhawks. The sale of the franchise to Bill Gallacher was finalized early in the season and Kromm was relieved of his duties, with Mike Johnston and Co. coming on board. . . . Today, Kromm finds himself out of work again. He was dropped in April as the GM and head coach of the ECHL’s Evansville IceMen after three seasons there. . . . Kromm is eager to stay in the game, and Randy Beard of the Evansville Courier & Press has more right here.
“Until now,” writes Jack Todd in the Montreal Gazette, “the rules for 99.9 per cent of the kids playing minor hockey have been set for the benefit of the .1 per cent who have a small chance of making it as far as junior A. So the kid who is just out there to have a little fun and is still having trouble skating backwards risks his health for the bruiser who might someday get a cup of coffee at an NHL training camp.”
Todd, of course, is writing about the decision by Hockey Canada to eliminate bodychecking from peewee hockey levels and below. . . . Todd goes one step further and suggest there isn’t any reason to have bodychecking in bantam hockey.
Todd’s column is right here.
The Saskatchewan Hockey Association was the only one that voted against Hockey Canada’s decision to ban bodychecking. Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post has spoken with SHA general manager Kelly McClintock and has that story right here.
F Joey Anderson of Roseville, Minn., has made an oral commitment to attend the U of Minnesota-Duluth and play hockey for the Bulldogs. . . . “I am excited to announce I have committed to play my college hockey for the University of Minnesota Duluth #Bulldogs #dream school,” Anderson (@JTA_8) tweeted. . . . Why is that interesting? Well, for starters, Anderson won’t turn 15 until June 19. Secondly, he will be a high school freshman in the fall, meaning that the earliest he would likely play NCAA Division 1 hockey would be the fall of 2017. Thirdly, the Brandon Wheat Kings selected him in the ninth round of the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft earlier this month.
Emanuel Viveiros, a former WHL player, and Rob Daum, a former WHL coach, will be at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. They will be there as head coach and assistant coach, respectively, of the Austrian national men’s hockey team. . . . Dave Leaderhouse of the Prince Albert Daily Herald has more right here.

From The Globe and Mail’s Roy MacGregor (@RoyMacG): “Nathan MacKinnon completely unnoticeable at WJC in Ufa. Fourth-line grinder? HCanada needs to re-think int'l game strategy.”
From Mitch Wahl (@mitch_wahl): “Watching the #MemorialCup final in Seal Beach, CA with @chrisbruton1987. The last #WHL captain to hoist the cup. #CHL @chiefshockey”
From Michael Scissons (@mrscizz): “First fight of the #MCMemorialCup and I'm involved. Green guys got game misconducts, all I got was an ovation. #hometowncrowd”
Scissons if the director of sales with the Saskatoon Blades.

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