Okay, so I'm sitting here in my Remparts shirt, and my IceDogs hat but I'm in no way biased as I write this preview. Right? We have an understanding? Great.
On Friday night the host Quebec Remparts defeated the WHL Champ Kelowna Rockets 4-3 (you can watch highlights here, the CHL doesn't like embedding videos it seems).
Last night the Oshawa Generals beat Rimouski with a similar 4-3 score. We've had two great, close games so far and I don't know if this game will be any different. One thing you never know in these quick tournaments is how teams will carry momentum from one game to the next.
The Oshawa Generals sailed through the OHL playoffs with relative ease, not even blinking an eye at the Erie Otters with Dylan Strome and Connor McDavid down the centre.
I had first hand experience watching the Generals calmly and systematically take apart my IceDogs in the second round of the OHL playoffs. For 55 minutes of that game the Generals were more like the Globetrotters making the game look effortless and easy, despite the tremendous amount of skill out there.
The Quebec Remparts faced more adversity through the QMJHL playoffs, bowing out in seven overtime filled games in the finals to Rimouski (the two won't face each other again until the final game of the round robin portion, and imagine if both teams are tied in the standings that night.). I wouldn't be fooled by the amount of games they played during the playoffs, more teams doesn't necessarily mean they're any worse than Oshawa.
These two teams have never met in the Memorial Cup before, I'm sure they'll act like bitter rivals during the game, though with the W & O teams being cautious of the refereeing when playing Quebec based teams maybe the Generals will take some time to count to 10 before reacting to anything, let the teams pay fines post game than pay with PP goals against during.
I don't predict a blowout tonight, but I can see it going either way - a nice defensive game or a complete 80's throwback to a goal every 3 seconds, though I would lean more towards the former - but the score will be close no matter what. Neither of these teams wants to give an inch, a lead, anything to the other. We're being treated to some great hockey right now, here in the Memorial Cup and in the NHL Conference Finals. It's a good time of year. Let's go watch some hockey.