SHAWINIGAN – A Canadiens prospect will hoist the Memorial Cup as captain of his team on Sunday night. Which one will it be?
The London Knights and Shawinigan Cataractes are set to face off in the Cup-clinching game in Shawinigan.
“It’s our last game. We want to leave everything on the ice. Both teams are going to finish their season tonight,” stressed Cats captain, Michael Bournival.
For the home team, the long road to the final doesn’t seem to have taken its toll, having beaten the Edmonton Oil Kings in the tie-breaker before downing Saint John in the semifinals.
“Playing four games in five nights isn’t that difficult. We’re here to play hockey and we have one goal,” explained Morgan Ellis. “We wanted to prove to everyone we belong in this tournament. We did that. Now, we have to get ready for our toughest game yet.”
Sunday night will be a golden opportunity for the 20-year-old defenseman, who spent the first half of the season with the QMJHL’s second-last place Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.
“If you had told me in September that I would be here today, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. I’m really grateful to the Cataractes for giving me this opportunity,” shared Ellis, who has one goal and three assists so far in the tournament. “For a lot of guys, this will be the most exciting and the most difficult game of their careers. We want to see everybody play their best.”
For his part, the Knights captain is already preparing to motivate his troops before hitting the ice for the big game.
“This will be our last game together as a team. I think I’ll say a few words to the guys before the game,” admitted Habs prospect Jarred Tinordi. “It’s been a wild ride to get here. We had the OHL playoffs first then on to the Memorial Cup. It only gets harder from here. I’m proud of the guys and I hope we’re going to finish on a high note.”
Tinordi may have some helpful words to share with his teammates, but his coach, Mark Hunter also has plenty of solid feedback to give to his captain.
“He’s going to be a professional for many seasons in the NHL. He knows how to take care of himself, prepare and focus. And he takes care of his teammates, which is a really important quality. One day, people in Montreal are going to see how special he is,” described Hunter, who was drafted by the Canadiens in 1981. “He’s been named captain everywhere he’s played. There’s a reason for that.”
Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Shauna Denis.
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