2017 Memorial Cup Preview
Jets prospect Logan Stanley may return from knee injuryby Mitchell Clinton @MClinton007 / WinnipegJets.com
The 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup will take place in Windsor, ON from May 19-28 at the WFCU Centre, the home of the Windsor Spitfires.
The Spitfires have the advantage of being the host team in the event, which will welcome the Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL Champion), Erie Otters (OHL Champion), and Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL Champion) for a tournament that will decide the best team in the Canadian Hockey League.
Last year's champions, the London Knights, won't be back to defend their title in 2017, after falling in seven games to the Erie Otters in the OHL playoffs.
By the time the puck drops on this year's event, the Spitfires will have gone over a month without playing in a game. Windsor was eliminated in seven games by the London Knights in the first round of the OHL playoffs. The Spitfires could also get a boost with 6'7" defenceman Logan Stanley potentially returning to the line-up after suffering a knee injury on Jan. 17, 2017.
Stanley, selected 18th overall in the 2016 NHL Draft by the Winnipeg Jets, had four goals and 17 points in 35 games before the injury.
2016-17 regular season record: 41-19-5-3
Leading scorer: Jeremy Bracco (acquired from the Kitchener Rangers) 25 goals, 83 points in 57 games
Power play: 22.9 per cent (fourth in the OHL)
Penalty kill: 88.5 per cent (first in the OHL)
The Thunderbirds won their first WHL Championship in franchise history over the weekend, and they did it in dramatic fashion.
Trailing the Regina Pats 3-1 in the third period, Seattle got to within one with 5:22 left in regulation. Then Brandon, MB product Keegan Kolesar tied the game with 2:54 on the clock. In overtime, Alexander True scored on his own rebound for his 12th of the playoffs to give Seattle its first Ed Chynoweth Cup.
The victory was made even sweeter by the fact Seattle lost in last year's WHL Championship series.
2016-17 regular season record: 46-20-4-2
Leading scorer: Ryan Gropp, 35 goals and 84 points in 66 games.
Power play: 22.2 per cent (eighth in the WHL)
Penalty kill: 83.3 per cent (third in the WHL)
SAINT JOHN SEA DOGS
The Sea Dogs lost only two games throughout the entire QMJHL playoffs. They swept Rimouski (first round), Val-d'Or (second round), and Blainville-Boisbriand (final), but it took six games to get by Chicoutimi in the third round.
This is the third time in the last seven seasons that the Sea Dogs have hoised the QMJHL's President's Cup.
2016-17 regular season record: 48-14-5-1
Leading scorer: Matthew Highmore - 34 goals and 89 points in 64 games
Power play: 29.9 per cent (first in the QMJHL)
Penalty kill: 85.4 per cent (first in the QMJHL)
Like the Seattle Thunderbirds, the Otters trailed in the third period before clinching the J. Ross Robertson Cup in overtime.
Taylor Raddysh completed his hat trick to tie the game late, before Anthony Cirelli - acquired at the trade deadline - buried a rebound off an initial shot from Erie captain Dylan Strome to clinch the title in five games over the Mississauga Steelheads.
2016-17 regular season record: 50-15-2-1
Leading scorer: Alex DeBrincat, 65 goals and 127 points in 63 games.
Power play: 27.2 per cent (second in OHL)
Penalty kill: 83.4 per cent (fourth in the OHL)
May 19: Saint John vs Windsor (6 pm CT)
May 20: Erie vs Seattle (2 pm CT)
May 21: Windsor vs Seattle (6 pm CT)
May 22: Erie vs Saint John (6 pm CT)
May 23: Seattle vs Saint John (6 pm CT)
May 24: Windsor vs Erie (6pm CT)
May 25: TBD vs TBD (6 pm CT)
May 26: TBD vs TBD (6 pm CT)
May 28: TBD vs TBD (6 pm CT)