Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

Memorial Cup Preliminary Round

The Memorial Cup is underway.  This is the championship tournament for the Canadian Hockey Leagues.  The champions in the Western Hockey League (Edmonton Oil Kings), Ontario Hockey League (Guelph Storm) and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (Val d'Or Foreurs) play in the tournament along with the host London Knights. 

I have never liked the Memorial Cup format where a host team automatically qualifies regardless of their success.  Either you get an unqualified team that struggles in the Memorial Cup and finishes last (or near last) or worse you get a team that wins the tournament that only qualified for it based on their willingness to host a tournament.

The tournament begins with a round robin played between the four teams and here are the results:

1. Guelph Storm.  This team won all three of their round robin games.  They outscored opponents 18-7.  Their offence has been led by Scott Kosmachuk (Winnipeg prospect) and Tyler Bertuzzi (Detroit prospect), their defence has been led by Matt Finn (Toronto prospect) and Nick Ebert (Los Angeles prospect) and their goaltending has been done by Justin Nichols (undrafted).

2. Val d'Or Foreurs.  This team won twice and lost once.  Despite that success, they only scored eight goals and were outscored by opponents in the round robin.  Anthony Mantha (Detroit prospect) was their top scorer, Randy Gazzola (undrafted) has led their defence and Antoine Bibeau (Toronto prospect) has been their top goalie.

3. Edmonton Oil Kings.  This team won once and lost twice.  Like Val d'Or, their opponents outscored them by one goal so far.  Edgars Kulda (undrafted) and Henrik Samuelsson (Phoenix prospect) have led their offence, Ashton Sautner (undrafted) has led their defence and Tristan Jarry (Pittsburgh prospect) has been their goalie.

4. London Knights.  This team doesn't belong in this tournament.  They finished fourth in their conference and made the second round in the OHL playoffs and are matched up against league winners.  They lost all three of their games and only scored four goals, while allowing 13.  Max Domi (Phoenix prospect) led the way offensively with two assists and Anthony Stolarz (Philadelphia prospect) has been their top goaltender.

As we look forward into the playoffs, Edmonton will meet Val d'Or in a semi-final on Friday and the winner will meet Guelph in Sunday's final.

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About The Puck Stops Here

imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com