KAMLOPS, British Columbia — The QMJHL champion Quebec Remparts beat the WHL champion Seattle Thunderbirds, 5-0 to win the 103rd Memorial Cup on Sunday. The victory gives the Remparts their third Memorial Cup title and marks the QMJHL’s fourth consecutive Memorial Cup win.
The Memorial Cup, the CHL’s year-end tournament, brings together the winners of each of the CHL’s three league championships, totaling 60 teams, to crown the best team in junior hockey.
The Remparts finished the 2022-23 season with a 53-12-3 record as the best record in the QMJHL and made it through the first three rounds of the QMJHL playoffs before defeating the Halifax Mooseheads in six games in the final. They also finished first in the first match of the Memorial Cup this year to advance directly to the final.
The Thunderbirds finished the 2022-23 season with the second best record in the WHL. They then cruised to the WHL title with a playoff record of 16-3, before going 3-2 in the Memorial Cup, losing twice to the Remparts.
In the final game, Buffalo Sabers prospect Cesvolod Komarov (who signed his first contract with the team in March) opened the scoring in the first period, and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect James Malatesta added his fifth goal of the tournament midway through the second period. . Third-period goals were scored by Kasim Godet, and the St. Louis Blues first-round selected Zachary Bolduc and Charles Savoy.
Who stood out?
Malatesta was great for the Remparts, well-deserved winner of the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award. He’s a player and seems to assert himself at that level with skating, fitness and jumping in general. Blue Jackets fans will love the way he plays.
I thought the line of Flames prospect Lucas Siona, Canadian prospect Jared Davidson, and 21-year-old Kyle Crankovich were the best of the tournament.
Although the host Kamloops Blazers finished fourth in this year’s tournament, team captain Logan Stankoven, a second-round draft pick for the Dallas Stars, led the tournament with nine points in four games. Star prospect Matthew Siminoff was in attendance and steadily advanced his chances for the Blazers.
For the Petes, the Flyers would expect JR Avon to make big plays with his speed (he can drive!) and Rangers starting quarterback Brennan Osman was in the fray and influential on both sides.
The end of Patrick Roy’s reign with the Rimpart family?
Much has been said throughout this season about him being Legendary Guard of the Year and the newest Hockey Hall of Fame player Patrick Roy behind the Remparts bench.
He’s been involved with Remparts in one form or another for more than two decades, and he wears many hats.
What’s with you. Vice President of Hockey Operations. Director general. trainer. Director general And trainer. He was instrumental in the team’s revival and return to the QMJHL in 1997. He coached them to their second Memorial Cup in 2006. Now he’s done it again. There was a five-year stint in 2010 where he left the team to coach the Colorado Avalanche for three seasons and then left the game for two years, but that team has been his life since retiring as a player.
It might be time to turn the page. According to reports, he spoke with the Blue Jackets about the coaching vacancy before selecting Mike Babcock for the position. If he doesn’t get a gig in the NHL this offseason, I wonder if there is a world where he remains the Remparts’ general manager. But I don’t expect him to be back behind the bench as the rebuilding starts next year.
For my money, the Remparts team is wonderfully organized for a very well trained rookie team.
Three unmarked goalkeepers fight back
I think Seattle’s Tomas Milich, Quebec’s William Russo, and Peterborough’s Michael Simpson — all passed the NHL draft — have been good this week and this season.
Milic’s proportions are getting harder and harder to ignore, even considering he’s fairly short as a goalkeeper (six feet). Named to this week’s CHL First Team All-Star Team, won WHL Goaltender of the Year, was the WHL’s Most Valuable Player in the playoffs, and backs Canada to gold at the World Junior Championships this year. Milic (No. 28 among goaltenders in North America) is also the only one of the three ranked by NHL Central Scouting in the 2023 recruiting class, but I would expect all three to receive invitations to rookie camp from at least NHL clubs.
Simpson, the OHL’s playoff MVP, has been better than the numbers indicate (894 save percentage this week). Bates went 10-2 in the round robin game with the Blazers, and picked up the pace after giving up five of his 20 shots on that shot, but was stellar the rest of the way and held the Bates team — a team he felt was the weakest in this one. Championship of the year on paper – in games. This was the reason they came from behind to stun the Blazers in overtime in a playoff game. He’s sloppy, but after winning the OHL Final MVP title, look him up for a rookie invitation from an NHL club.
(Photo: Candice Ward/CHL)