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 (Guelph Storm), Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies) and Western Hockey League (Prince Albert Raiders), and the host Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL. The event is being held at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, from May 17-26, and features several NHL-drafted prospects and some eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft.
In the championship game of the Memorial Cup, Rouyn-Noranda defeated Halifax 4-2 on Sunday.
Here are three things we learned on the final day:
1. Teasdale tournament MVP
Rouyn-Noranda forward Joel Teasdale (Montreal Canadiens) won the Stafford Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player at the Memorial Cup.
He scored the game-tying goal at 15:11 of the second period to make it 2-2 after Halifax took a 2-0 lead early in the second period.
Rouyn-Noranda's Tyler Hinam won a battle behind the Halifax net and deftly kicked the puck to Teasdale, who cut between the battle and the back of the net, came out in front, and stuffed the puck inside the post to the left of goalie Alexis Gravel (Chicago Blackhawks).
The goal was Teasdale's fourth, second in the tournament to teammate Felix Bibeau. He had a goal in each of Rouyn-Noranda's final four tournament games.
Rouyn-Noranda scored two more goals in the third. Peter Abbandonato made it 3-2 at 3:02 with a shot from the right face-off circle as he was being tripped, and Vincent Marleau spun and scored on the rebound of a Mathieu Gagnon shot at 5:03 to make it 4-2.
2. Dobson does it again
Rouyn-Noranda defenseman Noah Dobson (New York Islanders) finished a second straight season skating around with the Memorial Cup trophy. He was plus-2 with one shot on goal in the championship game.
Last season, he won it with Acadie-Bathurst, with seven points (two goals, five assists) in five games to tie for the scoring lead among defensemen at the tournament. This season, he was traded to Rouyn-Noranda on Jan. 6, was named the MVP of the QMJHL playoffs after he had 29 points (eight goals, 21 assists) in 20 games, and then had three points (one goal, two assists) and a plus-4 rating in five games at the Memorial Cup.
It's doubtful Dobson will get a chance to win the Memorial Cup for a third straight season because the No. 12 pick of the 2018 NHL Draft likely will be in the NHL next season.
3. Lavoie makes strong final impression
Halifax forward Raphael Lavoie, No. 20 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2019 NHL Draft, used the Memorial Cup as a strong final on-ice audition for NHL teams.
Lavoie scored at 5:26 of the second period in the championship game to give Halifax a 2-0 lead. After teammate Benoit-Olivier Groulx (Anaheim Ducks) jumped out of the penalty box and caused a turnover at center ice, Lavoie got to the loose puck, skated in alone on goalie Samuel Harvey, and slid the puck under his pads.
It was Lavoie's second goal in four games at the Memorial Cup after he had a QMJHL-high 20 goals in 23 playoff games.
2019 Memorial Cup results
May 17: Halifax 4, Prince Albert 1
May 18: Guelph 5, Rouyn-Noranda 2
May 19: Halifax 4, Guelph 2
May 20: Rouyn-Noranda 6, Prince Albert 3
May 21: Guelph 5, Prince Albert 2
May 22: Rouyn-Noranda 4, Halifax 3
May 24: Semifinal: Rouyn-Noranda 6, Guelph 4
May 26: Championship: Rouyn-Noranda 4, Halifax 2
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