Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Full Circle

When the 2009 Memorial Cup started the Windsor Spitfires were considered the favorite to win the Cup by those who follow junior hockey. Too big, too talented, too everything to be stopped and then of course Windsor went out and lost their first 2 games in the Cup.

People were so sure that Taylor Hall and Co were doomed; that they counted them out. We knew better as we watched as Hall and the Spitfires defeated Michael Del Zotto and the London Knights in their conference finals.

We watched as Windsor took out Evgeny Grachev and the Brampton Battalion to win the OHL championship. We knew better than to count out Windsor and now the Spitfires have a chance at a Ranger prospect hat trick when they take on Tysen Dowzak in the Memorial Cup final on Sunday.

On Tuesday when Kelowna had a chance to eliminate the Spitfires from the Memorial Cup, we said that the Rockets had best get it done while they had a chance otherwise face the possibility of having to play a team they lost to in the finals. Guess what happened on Friday night?

Windsor defeated Drummondville 3-2 in sudden death overtime to become the first team since 2002 to win their way from the tiebreaker to the Memorial Cup final. The thing is as we pointed out last night we have not found any evidence of any team that has gone from the tiebreaker to becoming the winner of the Memorial Cup.

Ranger fans know all too well what happened when you had someone on the ropes and did not finish them off like they failed to do against the Caps. Kelowna may live to regret not beating them.


For those who wondered about how Kelowna wound up in the finals

Here is how come Kelowna earned the spot in the Memorial Cup finals even though they had the same record as Drummondville. It is an easy explanation as Kelowna earned the tiebreaker due to defeating Drummondville during the round robin nothing more.


And The Winner Is

On the off day before the Memorial Cup, the CHL hands out their annual awards and Evgeny Grachev is up for the CHL Rookie of the Year Award. Grachev is going up against Brett Connolly of the Prince George Cougars (WHL) and Dmitry Kulikov of Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL).

Just on numbers the award should go to Grachev after the season he had but after watching Kulikov during the Memorial Cup this might be closer than expected.

(Taylor Hall courtesy of the OHL)

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