Obviously I’d like to make the big team here but I have a couple of weeks until main camp comes up so I want to go home and keep training and hopefully crack the lineup. - Michael Ferland
CALGARY, AB -- When you sit back and think about it, the Saskatoon Blades ability to sit on the sideline for almost two months and come within two wins of the Memorial Cup final is an impressive feat.
Add in the fact they beat the eventual champions Halifax Mooseheads and Flames prospect Michael Ferland has nothing to be ashamed of.
“Having 52 days off and playing against three championship teams and obviously the win against Halifax, it felt really good,” Ferland recently told CalgaryFlames.com.
His second Memorial Cup experience had the possibility of being a train-wreck.
Late in the regular season, his Blades team reeled off 18 straight wins to skyrocket up the WHL Eastern Conference standings, securing second place in the process.
However in the first round, the Blades were inexplicably swept in four straight games by the Medicine Hat Tigers.
It meant that the Memorial Cup hosts would not play a competitive game for exactly 52 straight days.
Blades head coach Lorne Molleken made the decision to send everyone home for a couple of weeks to “clear our heads”, according to Ferland.
“We just wanted to forget about what had happened and to come in fresh, we didn’t really have anything to lose. I thought we had a good couple weeks of practices and I thought we did pretty good for having a couple of weeks off.”
The Blades opened the tournament with a hard-fought 3-2 loss from the London Knights, before picking up the major 5-2 upset of the Mooseheads two days later.
“The atmosphere in the rink that night was unbelievable, it was a lot of fun to play that night.”
Back-to-back losses to Portland and London ended the Blades tournament hopes, but Ferland was still proud of his team.
“I took part of it when I was 17 so I had a little more experience than some of my teammates but they are a lot of fun, excitement in the city and it was great to go back for another year of junior and to get to the Memorial Cup again.”
It also ended an interesting season of hockey for Ferland, the Flames fifth round draft pick from 2010.
The 2012 season saw the power forward score 47 goals, 49 assists for 96 points in just 68 points with the Brandon Wheat Kings.
He started this past campaign with the Abbotsford Heat, but also spent time with the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL. He wasn’t seeing much ice-time.
Stating he wanted to get his groove back, he was assigned back to the Wheat Kings.
Brandon was in midst of a rebuilding season, and he knew his time back in his hometown was going to be limited.
At the WHL trade deadline, he was sent to the Memorial Cup hosts as they were loading up for a potential title run.
With that season behind him, he said he now hopes to make the Flames lineup.
“Obviously I’d like to make the big team here but I have a couple of weeks until main camp comes up so I want to go home and keep training and hopefully crack the lineup.”