Who is going to win the 100th Memorial Cup?
We are just over a week away from finding out as the 2018 Canadian junior hockey championship begins Friday night in Regina, Sask.
We do know one thing, the annual tournament will be a defining moment for one of the four participants — the host Regina Pats, Swift Current Broncos, Acadie-Bathurst Titan and Hamilton Bulldogs.
Three of the four teams are ranked in the top 10 in Canada (Swift Current No. 4, Acadie-Bathurst No. 6, Hamilton Bulldogs No. 8).
The Pats are no slouches either after taking the Broncos to seven games in the first round of the Western Hockey League playoffs. Plus, Regina has home-ice advantage.
Since the Memorial Cup expanded to a four-team tournament in 1983, the host team has won the title 10 times over those 35 years.
That’s not a bad percentage at all.
As we’ve seen in the past, the team that is able to find its bearings in their opening game, dictate — more often than not — what happens on the ice, and gets a lucky bounce or two along the way, will end up winning it all.
Can that team be Hamilton? Yah, why not?
The Bulldogs are fresh off a series victory over the top-ranked Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds which gave them a monumental confidence boost going into this tournament.
If they keep it simple, don’t panic when things go awry, and capitalize on their opportunities, Hamilton can come home with our city’s third Memorial Cup championship.
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