Saturday, 22 May 2010

Memorial Cup Notebook



The Brandon Wheat Kings go after junior hockey's holy grail Sunday night when they face off with the Windsor Spitfires in the final of the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup.

Brandon co-captain Matt Calvert turned down a contract offer from the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets last September to return to the Wheat Kings for just this opportunity.

"It's obviously a dream come true for me but there's one more win that we need to get," says Calvert (right), "I know the guys in the room want it real bad right now."

The Wheat Kings have never captured the Memorial Cup, coming closest in 1949 and 1979, when they lost in the deciding games.

Calvert asked what he thought winning the title might do for the city.

"It would be unbelievable. I know I was out (Friday) night and everyone was coming up and talking to me and just saying that they wanted us to know what it's done for the city," says Calvert, "I known they're all proud of us so far...it's been electric in there, it's been awesome and pretty surreal so it's going to be a real exciting atmosphere on Sunday."

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Brandon opened the tourament last Friday with a 9-3 loss to Windsor.

However, the Wheat Kings believe they've learned a lot about themselves since then.

"I think guys are just more comfortable. It was the first game of the Memorial Cup and it's the biggest hockey stage for Canadian junior hockey players," says Brandon defenceman Colby Robak, "The nerves were running and everyone is gripping the stick a little tight but, now, guys are focused and relaxed and ready to play now so it should be good."

Brandon is attempting to capture the 92nd edition of the Memorial Cup in what will be their 92nd game of the season.

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There'll be a special tailgate party Sunday in the Molson Canadian Hockey House to pump up fans for the Championship Final of the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup.

The party in the Manitoba Room at the Keystone Centre begins at 3:00 p.m. and the two best-dressed fans at the event will receive tickets to Sunday's championship final.

In addition, one of the giant Wheat Kings' jerseys hanging in the Hockey House will be autographed by the team and given away to a lucky fan.

880 CKLQ and 94.7 STAR-FM will be live on location at the Molson Canadian Hockey House on Sunday afternoon to give you a sense of the atmosphere around one of the biggest events ever in Brandon.

And, in an unprecedented move, (please note the shameless self-promotion here), the Final of the 2010 Memorial Cup will be simulcast on both CKLQ and STAR-FM.

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One the inspiring sights of the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup has been the sea of gold at Brandon games.

Fans are, once again, being encouraged to bring your gold 'terrible towels' to Sunday's game and to wear something gold or yellow.


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Over $19,000 has been raised through online auction by fans bidding on the game-worn and game-issued commemorative jerseys worn by the host Brandon Wheat Kings in the opening game of the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup.

The online auction, which also features two jerseys signed by Don Cherry and Ron MacLean, will close on Tuesday.

The commemorative jerseys for Wheat Kings’ players Matt Calvert, Toni Rajala, and Brayden Schenn have already raised more than $1,000 each.

Please visit www.mastercardmemorialcup.com to place a bid before the auction closes Tuesday night.

Proceeds from the auction will go towards the Dominion Command Poppy Trust Fund.

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