Memorial Cup Retrospective
With the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup now underway, we're going to take the opportunity to look back on some memorable moments from our appearances in the 2006 and 2007 tournaments. Join us here from May 17 - 28 as we look back on key moments, interesting facts, and "what happened on this day".
On this day in 2007, the tournament began with a game between the host Giants and the OHL Champion Plymouth Whalers, who featured future NHL'ers like James Neal (PIT), Tom Sestito (PHI), Jared Boll (CBJ) and Michal Neuvirth (WAS). The game was a see-saw battle that ended when the Giants' Kenndal McArdle (WPG) fired home a shot at 5:06 of overtime to send the 13,428 fans in attendance home happy. Vancouver's Milan Lucic (BOS) scored two goals and was the game's 1st star, while Neal also netted a pair and took home 2nd star honours. Spencer Machacek (WPG) opened the scoring for the Giants.
On this day in 2006, the Giants made their Memorial Cup debut against the QMJHL Champion and tournament host, Moncton Wildcats. That team was led by Keith Yandle (PHX), Philippe Dupuis (TOR), Brad Marchand (BOS) and the late Luc Bourdon (VAN). Michal Repik (FLA) scored the first Memorial Cup goal in Giants history just 1:17 into the game, but the Wildcats, coached by former Jack Adams Trophy winner Ted Nolan, eeked out a 3-2 victory. Vancouverís other goal came from Mitch Bartley. It was a chippy affair that set the table for another spirited meeting later in the tournament.
On this day in 2007, the Giants were cheered on by 13,734 fans at the Pacific Coliseum, as they took on the QMJHL Champion Lewiston MAINE-iacs. The US-based club was led by sniper David Perron (STL) and stalwart goaltender Jonathan Bernier (LAK), and was known to be extremely stingy defensively. A Perron first period goal held up until the third period, when Kenndal McArdle and Wacey Rabbit (two mid-season trade acquisitions for the Giants) scored to lead the Giants to a 2-1 victory. The win moved the Giants to 2-0 and set up a huge final round robin game against the Medicine Hat Tigers.
On this day in 2006, the Giants took the ice against Angelo Esposito, Marc-Edouard Vlasic (SJS), Alexander Radulov (NAS) and the Quebec Remparts. Coached by NHL legend Patrick Roy, the Remparts qualified for the tournament despite losing to the Moncton Wildcats in the QMJHL Final. As CHL rules dictate, since the Wildcats were also tournament hosts the Remparts earned an automatic berth by making their league finals. The Giants got off to another hot start, with 1st period goals by Mitch Bartley and Gilbert Brule (PHX). After a Paul Albers goal in the 2nd, they would carry a 3-2 lead into the 3rd period. However, Quebec would explode for four unanswered goals in the final frame on route to a 6-3 victory. Radulov was prominent, with 2 goals and 1st star honours.