The Mastercard Memorial Cup starts Friday night. The host Regina Pats and the WHL champion Swift Current Broncos will be joined by the Ontario Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan as the four teams vying for the 100th Memorial Cup.
Hockey fans in southern Saskatchewan know all about the Pats and Broncos, but what about the Bulldogs and Titan. Here is a snapshot.
In just their 3rd year, the Hamilton Bulldogs are heading to Regina for the Mastercard Memorial Cup as the champions of the Ontario Hockey League.
The Bulldogs (43-18-4-3) finished the season atop the OHL’s Eastern conference before eliminating Ottawa, Niagara and Kingston in five-game series before dispatching the Canadian Hockey League’s #1 ranked team going into the playoffs—the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in six games to capture the R. Ross Robertson Cup.
The team is led by Robert Thomas. The 20th pick overall in the 2017 NHL draft by St. Louis came to the Bulldogs in a trade with London and proceeded to put up 29 points in 22 games. In the playoffs, Thomas had 32 points to be named the playoff MVP with teammate Brandon Saigeon, who is draft eligible, scoring a league-high 18 goals in the playoffs.
Other players to watch are forward Nicolas Cammano (2016-Dallas), forward Isaac Nurse (draft eligible), forward Will Bitten (Montreal) defenceman Riley Stillman (Florida) and goaltender Kaden Fulcher (Detroit).
The Bulldogs will come into the Mastercard Memorial Cup with a very deep team that can score as seven players had 20 plus goal seasons.
Like the Bulldogs, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan advanced to the Mastercard Memorial Cup by beating the league’s best team in the final.
The Titan knocked off the Blainville-Boisbrand Armada in the President Cup final in six games after dispatching of Chicoutimi, Sherbrooke and Victoriaville in the other rounds.
The Titan may have the most watched player at this year’s event as defenceman Noah Dobson is considered as a top 10 pick in this year’s NHL entry draft. He was second in team scoring during the regular season with 69 points in 67 games. The team’s leading scorer was 18 year old Antoine Morand (Anaheim) with other contributors offensively being forwards Jeffrey Truchon-Viel (San Jose), German Rubtsov (Philadelphia) and overage defenceman Oliver Gallipeau.
In net, Evan Fitzpatrick (STL) has been dominant and has been named the CHL goaltender of the week twice during the playoffs. He started the year in Sherbrooke before being acquired via trade at the deadline.
2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup Schedule:
Round-Robin Game 1 – Hamilton vs. Regina on Friday May 18 at 8:00 pm
Round-Robin Game 2 – Swift Current vs. Acadie-Bathurst on Saturday May 19 at 2:00 pm
Round-Robin Game 3 – Regina vs. Acadie-Bathurst on Sunday May 20 at 5:00 pm
Round-Robin Game 4 – Swift Current vs. Hamilton on Monday May 21 at 6:00 pm
Round-Robin Game 5 – Acadie Bathurst vs. Hamilton on Tuesday May 22 at 8:00 pm
Round-Robin Game 6 – Regina vs. Swift Current on Wednesday May 23 at 8:00 pm
Tie-Breaker (if necessary) – Thursday May 24 at 6:00 pm
Semi-Final – Friday May 25 at 8:00 pm
Championship Final – Sunday May 27 at 5:00pm