Join­ing the Herd

The Coast - - COVER STORY -

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.

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