by PuckStopsHere on 05/25/09 at 02:20 AM ET
The Memorial Cup completed on Sunday. Here was the preview I wrote.
The Kelowna Rockets won the round robin portion of the tournament. In fact they had it clinched after only two games as they had a 2-0 record and had defeated both of the Quebec teams (Drummondville and Rimouski), who both had 1-1 records and the Windsor Spitfires were yet to win.
Windsor had a must win game and Kelowna had a game that didn’t matter at all to end the round robin. In a hard fought game, Windsor won 2-1 to merely stay alive.
The round robin ended with Kelowna winning with a 2-1 record, Drummondville finishing second, also with a 2-1 record and Rimouski and Windsor tied for third with a 1-2 record.
That set up a tie breaker game between Rimouski and Windsor. It was a game in which Windsor won 6-4. Windsor had faced elimination in two straight games, but they carried on in the tournament.
The host Rimouski Oceanic were eliminated. During the tournament they had been led by Patrice Cormier (a New Jersey draft pick) and defenceman Marc-Andre Bourdon (Philadelphia draft pick) who each scored four points. Maxim Gougeon (undrafted) their goalie came through the tournament with a 4.03 GAA and a .877 saves percentage.
Windsor then proceeded into the semi-final against Drummondville. Again they faced elimination. Again they won. This time it was 3-2 in overtime.
The QMJHL champion Drummondville Voltigeurs were eliminated. They had been led offensively by Yannick Riendeau (Boston prospect) who scored eight points and by defenceman Patrik Prokop (undrafted). Marco Cousineau (Anaheim prospect) was solid in their goal.
Windsor moved on to the final against Kelowna. Kelowna had not played in over four days while Windsor worked their way to the finals after barely surviving the round robin portion of the tournament. Windsor proved the stronger team with a 3-0 first period lead and an eventual 4-1 win.
Kelowna had been led offensively by tournament top scorer Jamie Benn (Dallas draft pick) who scored nine points and defensively by Tyler Myers (Buffalo draft pick). Mark Guggenberger (undrafted) played most of the tournament in goal, but posted a weak .873 saves percentage.
The Memorial Cup champion Windsor Spitfires were led offensively by Adam Henrique (New Jersey draft pick) and Taylor Hall (2010 draft eligible). Mark Cundari (undrafted) led the defence. In goal was Andrew Engelage (undrafted).
Taylor Hall of Windsor was named Memorial Cup MVP. That helps him in his quest to be first pick overall in the 2010 draft.
In an effort to make the tournament a big event for the host city, it is drawn out to take two weekends and the intervening week. To do this they have an almost meaningless round robin tournament at the beginning. When the team that wins the tournament ties for last in the round robin and survives by winning a tie breaker, it shows just how little the round robin actually means. Windsor won the Memorial Cup, but they did so in the least impressive manner possible.
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