As part of the Canadian Hockey League’s Memorial Cup Memories series between May 25 and June 21, CHL on Sportsnet talent including RJ Broadhead, Sam Cosentino, and Rob Faulds will recall some of their most memorable moments from tournaments over the last decade, and we’ll recap the highlights to help set the stage for 10 championship game rebroadcasts on CHL.ca.
2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the QMJHL. Punctuating the occasion, the battle for the Memorial Cup came down to two clubs who rekindled a rivalry from their spirited President’s Cup final in the champion Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and the host Halifax Mooseheads.
Following an impressive campaign that included a CHL record-tying 25-game win streak, the Huskies wrapped up 2018-19 with a franchise-record 119 points after putting together a 59-8-0-1 showing led by a 111-point season from veteran forward Peter Abbandonato, the Jean Beliveau Trophy recipient as the QMJHL’s leading scorer.
At the national championship, the Huskies and Mooseheads in addition to the OHL champion Guelph Storm put up 2-1 records through the round-robin stage. A tiebreak formula sent the hosts straight to the final, set up an intriguing semi-final showdown, and sent home the WHL champion Prince Albert Raiders.
The Huskies came away with a 6-4 decision versus the Storm to set up a rematch versus the Mooseheads for CHL supremacy in the first all-QMJHL final at the Memorial Cup since 2006. That contest saw the host squad hold a 2-0 edge at the midway mark before Rouyn-Noranda rallied for four unanswered markers, while netminder Samuel Harvey – one of a handful of returning Huskies who earned redemption after falling to the London Knights in an overtime heartbreaker in the 2016 Memorial Cup Championship Final – turned aside 23 shots en route to the victory.
The win marked the first time the Huskies hoisted the Memorial Cup, while it was the second-straight spring doing so for blue-liner and New York Islanders first-round pick Noah Dobson as well as head coach Mario Pouliot, who won it all as part of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan a year earlier. A dominant force to help his club capture the championship, Dobson saw more than 75 minutes of ice-time in the final two contests, while he is now one of three players from last season’s year-end tournament to have already made his NHL debut alongside Raiders forward Noah Gregor (San Jose Sharks) and Storm forward Nick Suzuki (Montreal Canadiens).
May 17 – Prince Albert 1 vs. Halifax 4
May 18 – Rouyn-Noranda 2 vs. Guelph 5
May 19 – Halifax 4 vs. Guelph 2
May 20 – Rouyn-Noranda 6 vs. Prince Albert 3
May 21 – Guelph 5 vs. Prince Albert 2
May 22 – Halifax 3 vs. Rouyn-Noranda 4
May 24 (Semi-Final) – Guelph 4 vs. Rouyn-Noranda 6
May 26 (Final) – Halifax 2 vs. Rouyn-Noranda 4
Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy (MVP) – Joel Teasdale, Rouyn-Noranda
Ed Chynoweth Trophy (Leading Scorer) – Jakub Lauko, Rouyn-Noranda
George Parsons Trophy (Most Sportsmanlike) – Nick Suzuki, Guelph
Hap Emms Memorial Trophy (Top Goaltender) – Alexis Gravel, Halifax
Forwards: Felix Bibeau (Rouyn-Noranda), Benoit-Olivier Groulx (Halifax), Isaac Ratcliffe (Guelph)
Defence: Noah Dobson (Rouyn-Noranda), Sean Durzi (Guelph)
Goaltender: Alexis Gravel (Halifax)
F – Nick Suzuki
Prince Albert Raiders
F – Noah Gregor
D – Noah Dobson
Relive the action between the Huskies and Mooseheads on Sunday’s rebroadcast streaming live at 7 p.m. ET on CHL.ca.