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Welcome to the Memorial Cup

The Memorial Cup tournament gets underway tomorrow evening with the host Vancouver Giants taking on the OHL Champion Plymouth Whalers. I will preview the game tomorrow afternoon, for now have look see at an overview of each team. If cannot get television coverage of the tournament in your area, I have included each teams website which should link you to a local radio broadcast.


Fri., May 18 6:00pm PST Plymouth @ Vancouver
Sat., May 19 1:00pm PST Medicine Hat @ Lewiston
Sun., May 20 1:30pm PST Vancouver @ Lewiston
Mon., May 21 5:00pm PST Medicine Hat @ Plymouth
Tues., May 22 5:00pm PST Lewiston @ Plymouth
Wed., May 23 7:30pm PST Vancouver @ Medicine Hat
Thurs., May 24 7:30pm PST Tie Breaker Game (if required)
Fri., May 25 5:00pm PST Semi Final Game
Sun., May 27 1:00pm PST Championship Game

***All games on Rogers Sportsnet***
***Check the Memorial Cup Website at www.2007memorialcup.ca for more info***

Lewiston Maineiacs


Season Record: 50-14-2-4 -106pts/70gp
League Standing: 1st Place, East Division, 1st Place, QMJHL -
CHL Top 10 Final Ranking: 3rd
Playoff Record: 16-1, 17/gp - QMJHL Champions
Head Coach: Clement Jodoin
Memorial Cup Appearances: none
Memorial Cup Championships: none

NHL Draft Picks….(4)
Jonathan Bernier (G) Los Angeles Kings; Chad Denny (D) Atlanta Thrashers; Marc-Andre Cliché (F) New York Rangers; Stefan Chaput (F) Carolina Hurricanes

Players to Watch

Jonathan Bernier (G) - The future in goal looks bright for the Los Angeles Kings. Bernier finished the QMJHL Playoffs with a 16-1 record, 2.34 G.A.A. and a sparkling .912 save percentage.

Chad Denny (D) A Thrasher in the making, Denny had an impressive post-season notching 19 points in the Maineiacs 17 playoff contests. The Sydney, Nova Scotia native appears primed to continue to impress on-lookers with his intense physical play combined with his deceptively quick offensive talents. Denny is a monster while standing 6’ 3” and weighting 227 lbs, he finished the post-season 2nd in points (19), 4th in PIM (32) and 3rd in plus minus (+11).

David Perron (F) - This 18 year-old rookie from Sherbrooke, Que led the Maineiacs in scoring during the post-season run. Standing 5’ 11” and weighting in at 185 lbs Perron surely improved his current central scouting rank (10th, Overall) by finishing the playoffs with 28 pts (12 goals, 16 assists) not to mention a 5 point game versus the Halifax Mooseheads on Friday April 13th when he recorded a goal and four assists.

Luongo07 predicts: 3rd Place

Plymouth Whalers


Season Record: 49-14-2-3 - 103pts/68gp
League Standing: - 1st Place, West Division, 2nd Place OHL -
CHL Top 10 Final Ranking: 4th
Playoff Record: 16-4, 20/gp - OHL Champions
Head Coach: Michael Vellucci
Memorial Cup Appearances: none
Memorial Cup Championships: none

NHL Draft Picks….(8)
Jared Boll (F) Columbus Blue Jackets; Ryan McGinnis (D) Los Angeles Kings; Evan Brophey (F) Chicago Black Hawks; Dan Collins (F) Florida Panthers; James Neal (F) Dallas Stars; Tom Sestito (F) Columbus Blue Jackets; Daniel Ryder (F) Calgary Flames; Michael Neuvirth (G) Washington Capitals

Players to Watch

Michael Neuvirth (G) - In 18 playoff contests, Neuvirth recorded a record of 14 wins, and 4 losses along with a 2.45 goals against average and a stifling .932 save percentage. It seems that the future of the Washington Capitals continues to get brighter with each and every selection they make.

Evan Brophey (F) - Another key in the future of the Chicago Black Hawks, Evan backed up an impressive regular season with a 9 goal and 14 assist post season effort. This 6’1” 202 lbs. 20 year-old also loves to play a physical game as his 26 pims during the post season will explain.

James Neal (F) - The future of the Dallas Stars offense may lie at the foot of this youngsters feet. If that is the case, hockey fans in Dallas will have a lot to look forward to. James posted a career high 65 points (27 goals) in just 45 regular season games. In the post season the 6’ 3” 205 lbs. winger added 13 goals and 12 assists in the Whalers 20 game journey to the OHL Championship.

Luongo07 Predicts: 2nd Place

Medicine Hat Tigers


Season Record: 52- 17 - 3 - 0 -107pts/72gp
League Standing: - 1st Place Central Division, 2nd Place WHL-
CHL Top 10 Final Ranking: 2nd
Playoff Record: 16- 7 -23gp - WHL Champions
Head Coach: Will Desjardins
Memorial Cup Appearances: Four (1973, 1987, 1988, and 2004)
Memorial Cup Championships: 2 (1987, 1988)

NHL Draft Picks….
Gord Baldwin (D) Calgary Flames; Kris Russell (D) Columbus Blue Jackets; Darren Helm (F) Detroit Red Wings; Derek Dorsett (F) Columbus Blue Jackets; Michael Sauer (D) New York Rangers; Jordan Bendfeld (D) Phoenix Coyotes; Matt Keetley (G) Calgary Flames

Players to Watch

Matt Keetley (G) Currently the Flames have Kipper however, the future lies with Keets and the future looks bright. Keetley posted a .916 save-percentage and 4 shutouts in the Tigers run to the WHL Championship. Standing 6’ 2” tall Keets covers a lot of the net and makes even the toughest save look so easy. At his top form Keetley was name the MVP of the WHL playoffs.

Kris Russell (D) - Captain for a reason. League MVP for a reason. Another gem in the future of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Kris Russell is one of the best skaters to come through the junior ranks since Scott Neidermayer. Not only is he a great skater, he does everything else very well. His regular season statistics included 32 goals and 37 assists in 59 games, as well as a trip to the World Junior Championships where he starred on Team Canada’s blue line. Small in stature at 5’ 10” and 177 lbs but huge in heart and determination, Russell led all WHL defenceman with 19 points in 23 playoff games.

Darren Helm (F)- Do the Red Wings ever make a mistake? Darren Helm has the wheels to play pro and the Red Wings may not be far off for this native of St.Andrews, Manitoba. Helm stands 6’ 2” and led the Tigers in playoff scoring with 22 points.

Luongo07 Predicts: Memorial Cup Champions

Vancouver Giants

(www.vancouvergiants.com or www.cknw.com for play-by-play during the Memorial Cup)

Season Record: 45 - 17 - 3 - 7 - 100pts/72gp
League Standing: - 1st Place B.C. Division, 3rd Place WHL
CHL Top 10 Final Ranking: 8th
Playoff Record: - 15- 7 -22gp - Host
Head Coach: Don Hay
Memorial Cup Appearances: 1 (2006)
Memorial Cup Championships: none

NHL Draft Picks….
A.J. Thelen, Minnesota Wild; Kenndal McArdle,Florida Panthers;Brendan Mikkelson,Anaheim Ducks; Cody Franson,Nashville Predators; J.D. Watt,Calgary Flames; Wacey Rabbit,Boston Bruins; Mario Bliznak,Vancouver Canucks; Milan Lucic,Boston Bruins.

Players to Watch

Brett Festerling (D) Not necessarily an offensive threat by any means, Brett Fresterling appears to have come in to his own while wearing the captains ‘C’ for the Giants in 2007. Festerling was never drafted by an NHL team but the Anaheim Ducks may have found a diamond in the rough. Festerling is a force in his own end of the ice, his hard work and responsible play allowed him to record an impressive +35 rating during the regular season.

Michal Repik (F) In his second season in the WHL, Repik was expected to pick up his offensive play with the departure of Gilbert Brule. Michal did well this season to earn his 58th rank in this summers NHL Entry Draft. Repik led the WHL in post season scoring with 26 points in 22 games.

Kendall McArdle (F) Talk about a spark plug, Kendall McArdle has the ability to get under the skin of any opponent. McArdle recorded 129 PIMS in 63 regular season games but that is not all that the Florida 1st rounder can do. Kendall also recorded 44 points in those same 63 contests. 2006-2007 was a season that included a trip to the World Junior Championships with Team Canada as well as a trade from the fabled Moose Jaw Warriors to his hometown Vancouver Giants.

Luongo07 Predicts: 4th Place
Filed Under:   Memorial Cup  
May 18, 2007 1:21 PM ET | Delete
Go Tigers!!!
May 18, 2007 3:13 PM ET | Delete
Giants finishing last? Your kidding right?
May 18, 2007 7:11 PM ET | Delete
you're underestimating Lewiston, they're gonna win the memorial cup. also the giants has the experience from last year i don't think they'll finish last.1. lewiston2. vancouver3. plymouth4. medecine hat
May 18, 2007 7:45 PM ET | Delete
this tournament is up for grabs, probably the top four teams in all of junior hockey made (regardless of final standings etc). the only team that i can say will be in the final is medicine hat. I was extremely impressed with every facet of their game during the WHL final. I honestly do not care who wins this tournament (I would like to see the giants win) but in the end I am expecting some unreal hockey...nothing like the stuff we have been watchin the pros play for the past few weeks.
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