Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tuesday Notes: Will 2017 be 2011 all over again?

Could New Brunswick sports history repeat itself in 2017?

The UNB Varsity Reds won a national championship on home ice on Sunday. It was just the second time the Varsity Reds had won the University Cup at the Aitken Centre and the first since 2011.

As Saint John Sea Dogs fans will remember, 2011 was a special year down the highway as well, with the Dogs becoming the first team from Atlantic Canada to win the Memorial Cup.

Like 2011, the Sea Dogs will enter the playoffs as one of the top teams in the Canadian Hockey League and the No. 1 seed in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. And like 2011, the Memorial Cup will be played in southern Ontario.

Will the V-Reds and Sea Dogs both win national championships in 2017? It's a possibility.

Saint John's 2016-17 playoff run begins at Harbour Station on Friday night against the Rimouski Oceanic.

Some notes..
  • This year's Memorial Cup hosts, the Windsor Spitfires, are in tough to make it out of the first round of the OHL playoffs. Playing in a ridiculously stacked Western Conference, the Spits are forced to play the London Knights in the opening round.
  • The Erie Otters became the first team in CHL history to record four straight 50-win seasons. The Sea Dogs were one of the few teams to be tied for the previous record with three.
  • Sea Dogs goaltender Callum Booth has been named the QMJHL's second star for the month of March. According to the league's release, "in five games where he was credited with the win in all of them, the Carolina Hurricanes prospect maintained a 1.20 goals against average and 0.946 save percentage, as well as obtaining one shutout."
  • In The Hockey News' Future Watch, Thomas Chabot was named one of hockey's top prospects.

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