MISSISSAUGUA, Ont. - Two members of the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors are hoping the third time really is the charm.
Majors coach Dave Cameron and forward Casey Cizikas will be out to make amends Sunday in the final of the MasterCard Memorial Cup.
Prior to losing Game 7 of the Ontario Hockey League final to the Owen Sound Attack, the pair were members of the Canadian entry in the 2011 world junior hockey championship that blew a 3-0 lead entering the third in a 5-3 loss to the Russians in the final.
Cizikas says the thought of playing in the Memorial Cup final has arisen since that January day in Buffalo, N.Y.
"It's gone through my head a lot actually," Cizikas said Saturday as his team prepared to take on the Saint John Sea Dogs. "Now that it's finally here, it's an unbelievable feeling. We've got a chance to win a Memorial Cup now and we've got to do it as a team."
Saint John beat Mississauga in the tournament opener 4-3.
Cizikas gave the Sea Dogs credit for their play thus far, but added that the Majors think they'll be able to compete with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champions.
"They've been a top team all year and with the way they've gone through the tournament, you know they can put the puck in the net," Cizikas said. "Our number one goal is to try to limit their chances and try to be as physical as possible."
Majors forward Devante Smith-Pelly says there is no added pressure playing for the title on home ice.
"The only pressure we have is the pressure we put on ourselves to be one of the best teams. We're here at our rink so there should be no nerves for our guys because this is an environment we're used to," he said. "Anytime you have the crowd behind you it's huge and going into Sunday's game we're going to try to use it to our advantage, be it with big hits or scoring a goal."