Lucky 7’s: A look back at winners defined by the number 7

Mastercard Memorial Cup

Before the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup champion is crowned, here’s a look back at the winning clubs who won in years defined by the No. 7.

2007 – Vancouver Giants:

Playing on home ice in front of a raucous standing-room only crowd of more than 16,000, the Vancouver Giants skated off with the Mastercard Memorial Cup crown with a victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. The Giants were led by Milan Lucic, whose bruising two-way game paved the way to the national championship and won the Vancouver native the Stafford Smythe Trophy as MVP. The Giants soon graduated a handful of players to the NHL, including Lucic, Cody Franson and Lance Bouma. Local product Evander Kane, 15 at the time, also suited up in the championship game. The OHL champion Plymouth Whalers and QMJHL winners Lewiston Maineiacs rounded out the Memorial Cup field.

BACK in 2007…..

  • Canadian Prime Minister: Stephen Harper
  • Apple release the first iPhone
  • Malcolm Gladwell attends Mastercard Memorial Cup and references its participants in his bestseller, Outliers

1997 – Hull Olympiques:

Claude Julien’s Hull Olympiques were considered the favourite playing at the venerable Robert Guertin Centre, entering the event as reigning QMJHL champions. Though they had to overcome a surprise over-time defeat to Lethbridge in the round robin, Hull avenged that loss by beating the Hurricanes in the championship game.  The Olympiques were led by the powerful forward trio of Christian Dube, Donald MacLean and Pavel Rosa, who finished 1-2-3 in scoring. The Olympiques also had an embarrassment of riches in goal, with Christian Bronsard winning the Hap Emms Trophy as the top goaltender, with future NHLer Marty Biron serving as his backup. The Oshawa Generals were the OHL champs and the Chicoutimi Sagueneens rounded out the field as the QMJHL reps.

BACK in 1997….

  • Canadian Prime Minister: Jean Chretien
  • Asian financial crisis dominated world news
  • Scottish scientists successfully clone Dolly the sheep

1987 – Medicine Hat Tigers:

Trevor Linden led the Medicine Hat Tigers squad who had won the WHL championship but were beaten in the round robin by the Oshawa Generals. That set-back forced the Tigers, who also had future NHLers Dean Chynoweth, Rob DiMaio and Mark Fitzpatrick in their lineup, to go through a two-game semi-final setup versus the QMJHL champion Longueuil Chevaliers. Once in the final, the Tigers dispatched the hosts 6-2 in the championship game. Oshawa’s defeat of the North Bay Centennials in a “super series” won them the right to host, and with the same result in the OHL Final, just three teams participated in the Memorial Cup.

BACK in 1987….

  • Canadian Prime Minister: Brian Mulroney
  • Stock market crashes in New York and around the world
  • Ben Johnson wins the IAAF 100m to become world’s fastest man

1977 – New Westminster Bruins:

The three league champions – Ottawa 67’s (OHL), Sherbrooke Castors (QMJHL) and New Westminster Bruins (WHL) – play a double round robin format. Those six games produce an Ottawa-New Westminster final, two teams that had split their two round robin encounters. Led by Barry Beck and Brad Maxwell on defence and Stan Smyl up front – the trio would later combine for more than 2,100 NHL games – the Bruins won the Memorial Cup with a 6-5 victory on home ice. Bobby Smith was the leader of the losing 67’s, while the Castors were paced by Jere Gillis, who would later play for the Canucks. After his playing days, Gillis would become a Hollywood character actor and stuntman.

BACK in 1977….

  • Canadian Prime Minister: Pierre Trudeau
  • Elvis dies at 42
  • Queen Elizabeth II marks her silver jubilee

1967 – Toronto Marlboros:

The Toronto Marlboros won the Memorial Cup, defeating the Port Arthur Marrs in five games of a best-of-seven final series held exclusively in Thunder Bay Gardens.The Marlboros had future Leafs Brian Glennie and Mike Pelyk in their lineup, along with future Hall of Famer Brad Park. The Memorial Cup was the culmination of a national play-down series. As OHA champions, the Marlboros began their quest in the semi-finals, playing Eastern Canada winners, Thetford Mines. Port Arthur, were the Western Canada champions.

BACK in 1967….

  • Canadian Prime Minister: Lester Pearson
  • Canada celebrates its Centennial
  • First Superbowl takes place

1957 – Flin Flon Bombers:

In a remarkably close final series against the Ottawa Junior Canadiens, the Flin Flon Bombers prevailed with a 3-2 win in Game 7. Both teams scored 19 goals in seven games, the first three of which were held in Flin Flon, before the series moved to Regina for the remaining four contests. The Bombers most notable player was Ted Hampson, who would later play 676 career NHL games and who remains an amateur scout with the Vancouver Canucks.

BACK in 1957….

  • Canadian Prime Minister: Louis St. Laurent
  • President Eisenhower temporarily suspends nuclear testing
  • Humphrey Bogart dies

1947 – Toronto St. Michael’s Majors:

The St. Michael’s Majors traveled west to play the Moose Jaw Canucks in a best-of-seven series. It was a dominating win for the Toronto-based powerhouse, winning the first three games by a combined score of 26-5. St. Michael’s clinched the championship with a 3-2 win in the fourth game. It was a rematch of two years earlier, when the Majors also beat the Canucks, in five games. The series was played in Winnipeg, Moose Jaw and Regina, where the Majors clinched their series win. Red Kelly was the most distinguished series participant and would later win the Stanley Cup eight times, four each with the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.

BACK in 1947….

  • Canadian Prime Minister: Mackenzie King
  • The Marshall Plan is introduced
  • The Partition of India leads to the creation of Pakistan

1937 – Winnipeg Monarchs:

The Winnipeg Monarchs beat the Copper Cliff Redmen in four games in a series played at Maple Leaf Gardens. The Monarchs had squandered a 3-0 lead late in Game 1 and lost in overtime but reeled off three consecutive wins, to take their second national championship. Monarchs forward Dick Kowcinak later won the Allan Cup and World Championship with the Trail Smoke Eaters. Alf Pike went on to play for the New York Rangers and then coached the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters to the 1952 Memorial Cup. Pike worked in the off-season as a mortician, earning the nickname “The Embalmer”.

BACK in 1937….

  • Canadian Prime Minister: Mackenzie King
  • First World War Prime Minister Robert Borden, dies
  • Hindenburg disaster

1927 – Owen Sound Greys:

Backed by hometown boy Benny Grant in goal and star forward Jack “Red” Beattie, the Owen Sound Greys won two tight one-goal games over Port Arthur to claim the city’s second Memorial Cup. The series was played in Toronto, where Grant would later go on to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Included in Grant’s 50 NHL games was a stint covering for Turk Broda, when the Leafs legend was overseas on military service during the Second World War. Beattie later played more than 300 career NHL games, mostly with the Boston Bruins.

BACK in 1927….

  • Canadian Prime Minister: Mackenzie King
  • Stock market crash leads to Great Depression
  • Charles Lindbergh makes the first solo flight from New York to Paris

Check out Mastercard Memorial Cup history for more information on past championships.

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