Edmonton Oil Kings vs Shawinigan Cataractes
2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup – Round-Robin
Tonight at 8:00pm
Radio: Team 1260; Fan 590 | TV: Sportsnet; TVA Sports | Live Blog: Yahoo!
SHAWINIGAN, Que. – It’s been a long time since we last saw the Shawinigan Cataractes.
The Cataractes haven’t played a real game since their quarter-final Game 7 loss to the Chicoutimi Sagueneens way back on April 17. A little over a month later, the Cataractes will now face even tougher competition beginning tonight as they host the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup tournament.
Shawinigan hosts the Western Hockey League’s Edmonton Oil Kings in the first game of the tournament this evening. Game time is 8pm although there will probably be plenty of pre-game stuff.
The Oil Kings were the best team in the WHL’s regular season, recording a record of 50-15-3-4 for 107 points. They were ranked fourth in the final BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 rankings of the season.
They entered the playoffs on an 11-game winning streak and kept that streak alive all the way through until the third round. They swept Kootenay and Brandon in the first two rounds but finally lost a game in the semifinals against Moose Jaw, ending their streak at 22 games. They would win that series in five and then need seven games to eliminate Portland to win the WHL championship and advance to the Memorial Cup.
This is a team that has only been around since 2007-08 season. This is their first Memorial Cup appearance in modern franchise history.
The Cataractes had the second best record in the QMJHL during the regular season, going 45-16-3-4 for 97 points. They were ranked fifth in the final edition of the BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10.
For Shawinigan, it will be a battle of rest vs rust. We’ve read an unlimited amount of Memorial Cup previews over the past week and haven’t seen anyone pick the Cats to win it all. They are the underdogs heading into this thing.
Tomorrow night, the Saint John Sea Dogs take on the London Knights.