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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Memorial Cup : Mississauga St Mikes Majors

The Majors were the class of the OHL in the regular season finishing with a league best 53-13-0-2 record for an 11 point margin over second place (and OHL Champions) Owen Sound Attack. They led the league in scoring with 287 goals scored. They were also one of only three teams to allow less than 200 goals against when they allowed just 170. Niagara (197) and Ottawa (199) were the other two.

Win or lose, the Majors were guaranteed a spot in the Memorial Cup as the host city. And although they lost in the final to Owen Sound, they were involved in some dominant series.

The Majors road to the Memorial Cup.

Round 1 : The Majors opened the playoffs with a 4 game sweep of the Belleville Bulls. Game 1 was a 4-1 victory on home ice. Game 2 was in Belleville, a 1-0 victory. Game three, back at home, was yet another whitewash, this time 2-0. And back on the road for game 4, their third shutout of the series, this time 4-0.

Round 2 : Swept Sudbury, who stunned Ottawa in a sweep in round 1. Again Mississauga opened on home ice with a 8-5 victory. Game two was played in Sudbury, a 3-2 Majors victory. Back in Mississauga, they took game three 6-3. They completed the sweep in Sudbury with a 4-3 overtime victory.

Round 3 : beat Niagara Ice Dogs 4-1. Again the Majors opened at home, again with a victory, and again with a shut out, this time 3-0. They headed to Niagara for game two, not having lost in 19 games going back to the regular season. However, that would end with the Ice Dogs 5-3 win. The Majors won game three 3-2 in overtime at home and game four 6-1 in Niagara before closing out the series at home with a 4-1 victory.

Round 4 : Lost in game 7 overtime to Owen Sound.  For all the scores, please check the Owen Sound post below.

Having beaten a powerful Niagara squad in five games, one wonders if the Majors took the Attack a little to lightly in the finals. I would think not. The Majors are loaded with experience and have two Memorial Cup Champs from least year in Justin Shugg and Marc Cantin while they were with the Windsor Spitfires. And just like the Attack players, the Majors, to a man, said they did not want in through the back door and were out to win the OHL Championship.

It'll be up to that experience to lead them through a tough loss and to concentrate on the task at hand that's ahead of them now. The Majors aren't without some draft eligible players though, most notably Stuart Percy and Joseph Cramarossa.

So I've given you my choices for fourth place and third place. But I'll hold off in predicting a winner until I do the update on the St John Sea Dogs. It'll keep things interesting for now.

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