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Western Canada Cup Preview

April 21, 2015

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For those interested!

I wrote this up for the MJHL Website and figured I’d share on here as well, especially considering the RBC Cup will be in Portage this season.

In case you haven’t heard I’ll be in Portage doing colour commentary for the RBC Cup on FASTHockey. So I needed to do some research anyway, enjoy!

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BCHL Representative

Penticton Vees

Their Story:
The Penticton Vees (Like every other team except Fort McMurray) were the top team in their league during the regular season. They finished the BCHL campaign with a record of 44-9-3-2. In the playoffs they were just as strong, going 15-4-3. Things got a little interesting for the 2012 RBC Cup Champions in the BCHL Final, they were down 2-0 on the road but won four straight to take the title.

Playoffs:
Round 1 (Best of 7): Beat West Kelowna in five.
Round 2 (Best of 7): Beat Vernon in seven.
Round 3 (Round Robin): Finished first with record of 3-1.
BCHL Final (Best of 7): Beat Nanaimo in six.

Top Playoff Scorer:
Demico Hannoun – 8G, 13A = 21PTS
Neat: Hannoun has been to two RBC Cups (Summerside in 2013 with Surrey & Vernon in 2014 with Vernon) and one Western Canada Cup (Nanaimo in 2013 with Surrey). In all three of those tournaments the 19 year old has 13 points (6G, 7A).

Top Playoff Goalie:
Hunter Miska – 15-6 / 2.24 GAA / .925 SV% / 2 SO
Neat: Miska had the top Goals Against Average (1.88) and Save Percentage (.931) in the BCHL this season. He played in 46 contests (34-9-3).

fmsgs

AJHL Representative

Spruce Grove Saints

Their Story:
For the second straight season the Spruce Grove Saints head into the Western Canada Cup, but this time they’ll be looking for a better result. After getting off to a slow start last year the Saints ended up losing to the Dauphin Kings in the RBC Cup Berth Game. This year they’re back with experience and playing just outside their own backyard. In the regular season the Saints were the top team in Alberta at 48-7-5. In the playoffs they went 12-6-0. Spruce Grove never really got pushed to the brink in the post season; all of their series went six games.

Playoffs:
Round 1: BYE
Round 2 (Best of 7): Beat Sherwood Park in six.
Round 3 (Best of 7): Beat Bonnyville in six.
AJHL Final (Best of 7): Beat Brooks in six.

Top Playoff Scorer:
Parker Mackay – 10G, 12A = 22PTS
Neat: Mackay is one of a number of players on the Saints that’s returning to the Western Canada Cup for a second straight year. Last year in Dauphin he had three goals.

Top Playoff Goalie:
Matthew Murray – 8-4 / 2.05 GAA / .917 SV%
Neat: At the ripe age of 17 Matthew Murray went 14-1-3 in the AJHL’s regular season. That included an eight game winning streak.

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SJHL Representative

Melfort Mustangs

Their Story:
It was the Melfort Mustangs most successful season in almost 20 years, but despite that you could consider the club an underdog at this year’s edition of the Western Canada Cup. In the regular season the Mustangs finished at 39-8-9, first overall. They suffered just two losses in the playoffs, both in overtime. Their record was 12-0-2. They swept the Notre Dame Hounds in the SJHL Championship Series. Like the Spruce Grove Saints, Melfort was never REALLY challenged in the playoffs. Their longest series went five games.

Playoffs:

Round 1 (Best of 7): Beat Weyburn in five.
Round 2 (Best of 7): Beat Nipawin in five.
SJHL Final (Best of 7): Beat Notre Dame in four.
Neat: Mustangs outscored their opponents 67-30 in the playoffs.

Top Playoff Scorer:
Adam Fauchoux – 14G, 9A = 23PTS
Tristan Frei – 9G, 14A = 23PTS

Top Playoff Goalie:
Richard Palmer – 14-2 / 2.07 GAA / .922 SV% / 2 SO
Neat: Palmer played the second most minutes in the SJHL playoffs at 869.

jago

Picture via Dallas Rudkavitch. For more solid pics go to dallasrfoto.com

MJHL Representative

Portage Terriers

Their Story:
The RBC Cup host Portage Terriers made it look easy during the MJHL regular season and playoffs. In total they finished with a franchise record of 53-3-4 on the season. They followed that effort up by going 12-0-0 in the playoffs. Portage really has nothing to lose at the Western Canada Cup, but we all know teams that host events prefer to go in the front door, rather than the back.

Playoffs:

Round 1 (Best of 7): Beat Waywayseecappo in four.
Round 2 (Best of 7): Beat Virden in four.
MJHL Final (Best of 7): Beat Steinbach in four.
Neat: The Portage Terriers went to overtime just once in the MJHL playoffs; it was a 4-3 victory over the Virden Oil Capitals. In the 12 playoff games the Terriers outscored their opponents 62-14, they enter the WCC on a 15 game winning streak.

Top Playoff Scorer:
Jordyn Boyd – 6G, 11A = 17PTS

Top Playoff Goalie:
Justin Laforest – 11-0 / 1.24 GAA / .946 SV% / 4 SO
Neat: Laforest was with the CCHL’s Carleton Place Canadians last season. The club went to the Fred Page and RBC Cups, but he did not play in any games as he was the back up to Guillaume Therien.

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HOST Team

Fort McMurray Oil Barons

Their Story:
It was a disappointing regular season and playoffs for the AJHL’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons. After finishing in the middle of the pack in the North Division during the campaign (31-23-6 = 4th), the MOB went on to fall in the first round of the playoffs. All can be forgotten when it comes to their season and playoffs if they can advance to the RBC Cup. It won’t be an easy start though; their first game is against Portage.

Playoffs:

Round 1 (Best of 5): Lost to Sherwood Park in four.

Top Playoff Scorer:

Jetlan Houcher – 2G, 2A = 4PTS
Trent Lofthouse – 1G, 3A = 4PTS

Top Regular Season Scorer:
Jetlan Houcher – 39G, 32A = 71PTS (3rd in AJHL)

Top Playoff Goalie:
Zach Fortin – 1-3 / 3.34 GAA / .895 SV% / 1 SO

Top Regular Season Goalie:
Zach Fortin – 20-16-4 / 2.72 GAA / .924 SV% / 4 SO

WCC1

Western Canada Cup Schedule
(All times CDT)

Saturday April 25

Penticton vs. Spruce Grove – 3:30pm
Portage vs. Fort McMurray – 8:30pm

Sunday April 26

Melfort vs. Portage – 3:30pm
Fort McMurray vs. Penticton – 8:30pm

Monday April 27

Spruce Grove vs. Melfort – 8:30pm

Tuesday April 28

Penticton vs. Portage – 3:30pm
Spruce Grove vs. Fort McMurray – 8:30pm

Wednesday April 29

Melfort vs. Penticton – 8:30pm

Thursday April 30

Portage vs. Spruce Grove – 3:30pm
Fort McMurray vs. Melfort – 8:30pm

Saturday May 2

4th vs. 3rd – 3:30pm
2nd vs. 1st – 8:30pm (Winner gets first RBC berth)

Sunday May 3

Winner of 3/4 vs. loser of 1/2 – 5pm (Winner gets second RBC berth)

NOTE: If Portage wins either of the RBC Cup qualifying games, the losing team in that contest gets a berth to the national championship.

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