Joining the Herd
The Memorial Cup is the big prize of the Canadian Hockey League, where the winners from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League and the Western Hockey League compete for supremacy. Because any playoff format is better suited to having an even number of teams, the host team automatically gets a place in the Memorial Cup tournament along with each regional league champion. That’s why—in hopes of having competitive rather than lopsided games—the Cup committee considers the team’s strength when it picks a host.
That also shows why seeking to host the Cup is so complicated. The Mooseheads’ pick in the 2017 import draft had to send a signal about the team’s strength in 2019. But then came this 2018 season, featuring a Mooseheads squad that looks strong enough to go a long way in the playoffs a year ahead of schedule. So let’s forget about next season for a minute, and focus on this one.
To get to the Memorial Cup, the Mooseheads first have to win the Q-league title, the President Cup. Q-league playoffs are underway; eight teams went into the first round, four teams—including the Mooseheads—made it out. For Halifax fans, the only guarantee is there will be two home games in the second round against the Charlottetown Islanders, with more games added as required in the best-of-seven-game series. Those home games are scheduled for this Friday and Saturday, April 6 and 7, 7pm at the Scotiabank Centre. For tickets call 902-451-1221.