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Memorial Cup: What we learned

Blues prospect Thomas sparks Hamilton; Acadie-Bathurst captain Truchon-Viel leads tournament with nine points

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Memorial Cup, a four-team round-robin tournament to determine the champion of the Canadian Hockey League, features the winners of the Ontario Hockey League (Hamilton Bulldogs), Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (Acadie-Bathurst Titan) and Western Hockey League (Swift Current Broncos), and the host Regina Pats of the WHL. The event is being held at Brandt Center in Regina, Saskatchewan from May 18-27, and features several NHL-drafted prospects and some eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft.

In the fifth game of the Memorial Cup, Hamilton defeated Acadie-Bathurst 3-2 on Tuesday.

Here are three things we learned on the fifth day:

 

1. Thomas cashes in

Hamilton forward Robert Thomas worked out any frustration he had against Acadie-Bathurst on Tuesday.

Thomas, selected by the St. Louis Blues with the No. 20 pick of the 2017 NHL Draft, had a goal and an assist. His output came after he had eight shots on goal but didn't have a point in Hamilton's 2-1 win against Swift Current on Monday.

Thomas assisted on a goal by Nicholas Caamano (Dallas Stars) to give Hamilton a 2-0 lead with 2:33 remaining in the first period. Then he beat Acadie-Bathurst goaltender and fellow Blues prospect Evan Fitzpatrick with a power-play goal high to the short side and over his glove to put Hamilton ahead 3-1 at 1:04 of the third period.

 

2. Truchon-Viel stands out again

Acadie-Bathurst captain Jeffrey Truchon-Viel had a goal and an assist. He leads the Memorial Cup with nine points (three goals, six assists) in three games and has at least two points in each of them.

The forward scored off a pass by top 2018 NHL Draft prospect Noah Dobson at 14:11 of the second to get Acadie-Bathurst within 2-1 and set up Samuel Asselin's goal at 3:44 of the third to make it 3-2.

"He's a warrior," Acadie-Bathurst coach Mario Pouliot told Sportsnet. "When the game is on the line he's always there. He wants to be there. And he's able to score goals, to make plays, to block shots. Honestly, he's rewarded for all the dirty jobs he's doing. His impact for us is tremendous. It's huge."

 

3. Gleason keeps strong postseason going

Hamilton defenseman Benjamin Gleason started the scoring with a power-play goal 14:33 into the first period. In the third, he made the pass to Thomas that led to his goal.

Gleason (6-foot-1, 186 pounds) has three points (one goal, two assists) in three games at the Memorial Cup. He tied for the lead among defensemen during the OHL playoffs with 18 points (three goals, 15 assists) in 21 games.

 

2018 Memorial Cup schedule

May 18: Regina 3, Hamilton 2

May 19: Acadie-Bathurst 4, Swift Current 3 (OT)

May 20: Acadie-Bathurst 8, Regina 6

May 21: Hamilton 2, Swift Current 1

May 22: Hamilton 3, Acadie-Bathurst 2

May 23: Regina vs. Swift Current (10 p.m. ET; SN, SN360, TVAS)

May 24: Tiebreaker, if necessary (8 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVAS)

May 25: Semifinal (10 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVAS)

May 27: Final (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVAS)

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