Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Cup

Young Kitchener Rangers Fan
(All photos courtesy of Andre)

This is the Memorial Day weekend south of the border and the weather here is absolutely gorgeous. One week ago our Victoria Day long weekend was accompanied with rain, snow flurries and cold winds. And they call it the first long weekend of the summer season. Go figure!

Hockey season continues and the finals for this winter sport almost extend into summer. Our city is hosting the Memorial Cup championship in a round robin tournament that started on May 16th and ends tomorrow. The top team in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), the Western Hockey League (WHL) and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) compete for the championship of the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). The host city's team also competes even if they did not earn a berth. Our Kitchener Rangers did win the OHL championship and entered as top team in the league.

Matt Halischuk

My husband is an avid Rangers fan and rarely misses a game. He travels to out of town games when possible including games in Erie PA, Saginaw MI and several Ontario cities. I would be happier if hockey games were two periods long instead of three and I don't know the difference between "offside" and "icing". But I am interested in the history of the tournament. Andre has kindly allowed me to use some of his terrific game photos.

Kitchener Rangers Commemorative Memorial Cup Jersey
Mike Duco

The Memorial Cup was donated by the Ontario Hockey Association in 1919 as a memorial to the Canadian dead of World War One. I never knew the history of the cup until our local team introduced special jerseys for the first game of the tournament. Some people think that a memorial to war dead should not be associated with something as trivial as hockey, but I think that any method of respectful remembrance for future generations is a good thing.

Spokane Chiefs' Goalie Dustin Tokarski

The Kitchener Rangers will play in the final tomorrow afternoon against the Spokane Chiefs. Spokane is the only undefeated team in the tournament so the game should be exciting. My niece Jaspenelle lives in Spokane and wrote a short post after she went to one of their games this past season.

Kitchener Rangers Goalie Josh Unice

Junior hockey is very popular in Canada and the fans are very enthusiastic. My husband plays goal in the Old Timer's League and is very proud of the the performance of the young Kitchener goalie Josh Unice. He had a 9-0 shut out in Friday's semi final game.

So who will win tomorrow's championship? Kitchener or Spokane? Check back tomorrow to find out.

And here's wishing our American neighbours and fun and safe Memorial Day weekend.

Sunday evening update...
Spokane won the Memorial Cup beating Kitchener 4-1.

8 comments:

  1. I hope that young hockey fan has something big to "roar" about tomorrow. What a cutie!

    Ruth...I, for one, love a hockey game. Prefer to watch NHL on TV, but love to watch OHL live. Those boys put their heart and soul into every game and there is nothing better then being a part of that. I'm sure your husband knows what I'm talking about.

    GO KITCHENER RANGERS GO!

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  2. Hi Cheryl!
    If I go to a game I enjoy watching fans more than the hockey. But I do hope Kitchener wins tomorrow. They have had an excellent season and I really respect the coach, Peter DeBoer.

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  3. Yes, Junior hockey is alive and well in your neck of the woods, Ruth. I did not become a hockey fan until the NHL came to San Jose. Then it took me a whole year before I attended a few of the games. I've also attended some minor league games in the past, especially since both of my "kids" used to play. It's an exciting sport once you get the hang of it. It reminds me a bit of soccer which my "kids" played in their youth. Good luck to the Kitchener Rangers!

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  4. Ruth, thanks for the information on the tournament. I don't really know very much about hockey although my husband likes to watch college games on TV. Enjoy the good weather.

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  5. Go Belleville Go. Oh, they went already.

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  6. Ruth, my Dad used to play for the London Knights(?) and Barrie Colts many moons ago. He was carded to the Boston but the war started and he went home to farm and work in the coal mines. Brought back memories for me. Sorry Canada lost!

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  7. Mary- My husband is very impressed that you are a Sharks fan. ( I knew that from you blog ;-)) I can hardly imagine the appeal of hockey in the south, but if your children are into it, you follow the game.

    Beth- Hope you enjoy your Monday. I am not a big hockey fan, but I do understand the game a little better than football.

    AC- Too bad. My husband goes on the Eastern road trip in the fall following the Rangers to Belleville, Kingston and Ottawa. (Not an Ottawa fan??)

    Jean- That is so neat about your father! Yes you have the team names right. The London Knights are Kitchener's arch rivals.

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  8. Go Chiefs Go! We wooooon! ;-)

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