The three championship Canadian Hockey League teams plus this year’s host are set to drop the puck on the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup from Regina, Sask.
The 100th edition of the major junior tournament features the host Pats, WHL champion Swift Current Broncos, OHL champion Hamilton Bulldogs and QMJHL champion Acadie-Bathurst Titan. These are the best teams Canadian major junior hockey has to offer this season, and plenty of prospects will be on a big national stage, some of whom we may see in the NHL one day.
Surprisingly, none of the three CHL leagues have their regular-season champions at this year’s Memorial Cup. Each of the Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL), Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) and Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (QMJHL) were eliminated in their league’s playoffs, falling short of the CHL’s top tournament.
This Memorial Cup also has an interesting mix of big and small markets. While Acadie-Bathurst and Swift Current represent two of the smaller markets in the CHL, Hamilton and host Regina are both large cities.
Another interesting wrinkle is that none of this year’s teams have had much recent success at the Memorial Cup. The Broncos, fresh off their first WHL title since 1993, are the most recent Memorial Cup winner in this group and their last championship came all the way back in 1989. The Pats last won in 1974 and Acadie-Bathurst has never raised the Cup. The Bulldogs, previously known as the Belleville Bulls, haven’t won either, but the city of Hamilton has won it twice: once in 1962 when they were known as the Red Wings, and again in 1976 as the Fincups. The Belleville Bulls last played for the Memorial Cup in 2008, but did not reach the final.
The round robin is set to begin Friday night with a game between Regina and Hamilton. Here …read more