Friday, 14 May 2010

Memorial Cup Notebook

The status of Western Hockey League scoring champion Brandon Kozun (left) remains up in the air.

The Calgary Hitmen forward missed practice again Thursday with what is believed to be a right ankle sprain.

His status for Calgary's opening game against Moncton Saturday is uncertain.

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Meanwhile, Moncton head coach Danny Flynn says it's unlikely Nicolas Dechamps will play in the Memorial Cup.

The QMJHL scoring champion has been out since the third round of the playoffs with an ankle or knee injury.

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This is the fifth time the Wheat Kings have competed for the Memorial Cup.

Brandon lost four games to three with one tie to the Montreal Royals in the 1949 Final.

In 1979 (Verdun), the Wheat Kings lost 2-1 in overtime to the Peterborough Petes in the Final while Brandon also participated in 1995 (Kamloops) and 1996 (Peterborough), losing in the semifinal each year.

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This isn't the first time the Memorial Cup has been competed for in the Wheat City.

The entire eight-game series in 1949 between the Wheat Kings and Montreal Royal was played in either Brandon or Winnipeg.

The other notable Memorial Cup games played in the Wheat City including the 1959 Winnipeg Braves capturing the Memorial Cup at the Wheat City Arena, defeating the Peterborough Petes in Game #5 after they were kicked out of the Winnipeg Arena by the circus.

In addition, the Keystone Centre hosted the first three round-robin games of the Memorial Cup in 1980 before the tournament shifted to Regina.

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CTV Winnipeg's Leah Hextall was the Mistress of Ceremonies for Thursday night's opening gala.

She did a good job, with a couple of notable exceptions.

She mis-pronunced several players names and consistently referred to the Memorial Cup as the Mem-Cup.

That is generally considered disrespectful toward the Canadian military, for which the Memorial Cup was rededicated Thursday for the over 116,000 Canadian soliders that have fallen in conflicts on behalf of our country over the years.

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