Four Carolina Hurricanes prospects appeared in the Mastercard Memorial Cup, which was hosted by the Windsor Spitfires in Windsor, Ontario, from May 19-28.
In case you missed it …
Fresh off their Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) championship win, the Saint John Sea Dogs kicked off the race to the Memorial Cup in a clash with the Spitfires. While Windsor eventually took the 3-2 win, netminder Callum Booth took the chance to show off some stellar 'tending.
Dogs forward Julien Gauthier picked up a secondary assist on Thomas Chobot's goal to pull Saint John within one, but it wasn't enough as the Sea Dogs dropped Game 1.
Prospect Warren Foegele and the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) champion Erie Otters faced off the Seattle Thunderbirds in Game 2 of the tournament. Foegele earned an assist on the first goal of the game, feeding teammate and Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat the opportunity for this shot:
Foegele and the Otters topped the Thunderbirds 4-2 and moved on to Game 4 to take on Spencer Smallman, Gauthier, Booth and the Saint John Sea Dogs.
And, boy, was it something. Seven goals were scored in the first period, and the Otters left the ice after the first 20 minutes leading 5-2.
The second and third periods were comparatively tamer - only five goals were registered in each.
Foegele totaled two assists, marking his eighth multi-point game of the postseason (8g, 12a), while Smallman and Gauthier tallied a goal apiece.
Check out Smallman's second-period goal at the 52 second mark of this video:
The Otters won Game 4 in a 12-5 rout. Twelve. A combined 17 goals.
Yeah, those are records.
The loss put the Sea Dogs in a must-win situation going into Game 5, and they were looking to rebound with a vengeance.
After being pulled in the first period of Game 4, Booth returned as the starter for Saint John. It was a good choice.
Booth stopped all 31 shots he faced, leading the Dogs to a 7-0 shutout over Seattle. This tournament is the definition of "goals on goals on goals."
His celly game is strong.
Oh, Gauthier (0g, 1a) and Captain Smallman (1g, 1a) helped, too.
Smallman's two points marked his fifth multi-point game of the postseason; he totaled 10 goals and three assists in those games.
The win sent the Sea Dogs to the semifinals to face the loser of the Erie-Windsor matchup the next day.
The Otters looked to continue their two-game win streak against the undefeated Spitfires and advance to the semifinals as the only remaining perfect Memorial Cup team.
Two first-period goals from Windsor killed the momentum, ultimately leading to a 4-2 Spitfire win. The loss wasn't enough to send the Otters packing, so it was back to the circle with Saint John.
The Otters and Dogs exchanged two goals apiece through 40 minutes, with Foegele and Smallman netting the primary assists on their respective teams' opening goal, and Gauthier getting a second tally for Saint John late in the second period.
It was a four-goal third period that put the Otters over the top, defeating Smallman, Gauthier, Booth and the Sea Dogs 6-3, with the sixth and final Otters' goal notched by FoegDaddy himself.
The loss sent Saint John home empty-handed, but it also marked the beginning of a new chapter for some.
With the win, the Otters had one final push to the Memorial Cup, squaring off with the still undefeated Windsor Spitfires in the final.
The Spitfires struck first, but the Otters quickly (roughly 50 seconds later) tied it up. Foegele opened scoring in the second period with a power-play goal.
Less than a minute later, the two teams were knotted again at two. Then again at three.
Windsor's game-winning goal came 5:07 into the third period. A series of shots hit the goal post as Erie made a late push, but they couldn't find the equalizer.
Though Foegele, Smallman, Gauthier and Booth couldn't cap their seasons off with a Memorial Cup victory, championships in their respective junior leagues are worthy accomplishments.