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Memorial Cup PRIMER: Everything you need to know

Canadian Junior’s Round-Robin tourney begins today! Here’s what you need to know!

2018 Memorial Cup - Championship Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images

What’s the Memorial Cup?:

This thing!

It’s given out to the winner of a round-robin tournament featuring the host cities’ team, and the three champions of the Major-Junior Canadian Hockey League. It’s usually a lot of fun due to it’s extremely constrained time period, and because the winner is never who you expect it to be!

Who’s competing for it this year?:

QMJHL President Cup Champion Rouyn-Noranda Huskies: Whose road we talked about a little over here. They largely plowed through most of their schedule and playoffs, occasionally stumbling but never really being out of it and winning handily. This is just their second QMJHL championship since their inception.

OHL Champion Guelph Storm: The Storm on the other hand, seemed to be good, but nowhere near as good as their playoff run would end up being. Improbable win after improbable win. Series domination after series domination, and finally slaying the Ottawa 67’s in 6 games, the Storm are the surprise fun story of the Memorial Cup this year, even though this is their fourth OHL Championship since 1991.

WHL Champion Prince Albert Raiders: Their first win since 1985, The Raiders had a hell of a final against the Vancouver Giants, going to seven games, and then Dante Hannoun got the honor of being an overtime hero. If anyone worked harder to get here, let them stand before the Raiders and weep.

And your host Halifax Mooseheads: They tried their darnedest, but couldn’t get over the Huskies in six games, and were eliminated in the QMJHL finals. However, that does mean they have home-ice advantage in a way very few teams could ever hope for, as Prince Albert and Guelph have to get on some long bus rides/flights out to Nova Scotia.

Time will tell if they can survive another game or two against Rouyn-Noranda, on the other hand.

Halifax Mooseheads v Blainville-Boisbriand Armada Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Who should I root for?:

Unlike other years, where I’d cheat and say “The team that’s the most rested”, I legitimately can’t do that this year because...well...nobody’s rested. The hometown team got flattened after Game 4 in their series that ended last week, Their opponents are just as beat from that series, The Raiders went to seven games and are coming from Sasketchewan, and Guelph had to beat the 67’s away from them with a stick in their Game 6 just to make goddamn sure Ottawa stayed down (their series otherwise was decided by one goal in nearly every game except the first, the third, and the last.)

It could go whatever way possible, is what I’m saying.

My bet, however? And to tie this back into the Bruins? Rouyn-Noranda. Because Jakub Lauko fought tooth and nail to be one of the hottest rookies in the sport during this CHL playoff season, and he deserves a shot to add some extra hardware to his first year in North America.

Schedule:

Right here.

Good luck to everybody!...But mostly to Jakub Lauko!