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.
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.
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.
By the time the OHL final begins on Thursday, the Eastern Conference champion Hamilton Bulldogs will have gone through seven days since their last game, certainly enough time to rest up and nurse any bumps or bruises.
It’s fascinating to see how history or in this case, QMJHL playoff pairings, repeat themselves. Very often, hockey rivalries are born through geographic proximities like the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and Val d’Or Foreurs who are separated by a mere 106 kilometres.
The final four is now set in the OHL and it isn’t much of a surprise who’s there. The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Hamilton Bulldogs, top seeds in the Western and Eastern Conferences respectively, have advanced to their conference finals.
Logan Barlage is making the most of his minutes. The 17-year-old Lethbridge Hurricanes centre has been thriving since getting shipped away from the Swift Current Broncos at the trade deadline and now has the chance to snuff out his former squad in the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Conference final.
ISS Hockey releases their April Top 31 Rankings for the 2018 NHL Draft, with Jacob Ingham listed as one of top two ranked goalies. Despite a tough year for the Mississauga Steelheads, Ingham stood out and has been ranked high by ISS Hockey throughout the latter half of the season.
On April 8, the QMJHL acknowledged its best achievements during its annual Golden Puck Gala. The following individuals were singled out for their impressive achievements during the 2017-18 regular campaign.
1) Yale Hockey Academy forward Jake Chiasson named the 2018 HockeyNow Minor Hockey Player of Year in B.C. powered by HockeyShot
2) OHA Edmonton forward Sean Tschigerl named the 2018 HockeyNow Minor Hockey Player of Year in AB powered by HockeyShot
3) Former HockeyNow Player of the Year Bowen Byram making Giant strides in the WHL
4) The 2018 HockeyNow Minor Hockey Players of the Year ready for the next level
5) Toronto Marlboros defenceman Jamie Drysdale named the 2018 HockeyNow Minor Hockey Player of Year in ON powered by HockeyShot