Remparts looking to rewrite Memorial Cup history books
The Memorial Cup presented by Kia will be awarded to the nation’s top junior hockey team for the 103rd time next Sunday. Should the Remparts skate away from this year’s tournament with their third Memorial Cup, the feat would not only become a magical one for Quebec City, but also for the entire Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
While the very first Memorial Cup was handed out back in 1919, the current round-robin format of the tournament was only introduced in 1972. Since then, the champions from the QMJHL, the OHL and the WHL, as well as an additional team from the hosting league, have met each spring to play for the national championship.
Dating back to that 1972 tournament, teams from the WHL have won the top honors 19 times, OHL squads have taken the Cup home 17 times, while QMJHL franchises have been national champs on 13 occasions. However, none of the three CHL leagues has ever won the Memorial Cup in four straight tournaments.
That’s where a win by the Remparts this year would become historical.
Taking into consideration that the 2020 and 2021 editions of the Memorial Cup were canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the past three editions of the tournament were held in 2022, 2019 and 2018. And, you guessed it, all three were won by QMJHL squads.
The Saint John Sea Dogs are the defending champs after defeating the Hamilton Bulldogs on home ice last year. In 2019, it was an all-QMJHL final that saw the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies top the Mooseheads in front of a sold-out crowd in Halifax. As for 2018, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan skated away with its first national title thanks to a 3-0 shutout of the host Regina Pats.
Although the Q’s most recent success is quite impressive, it isn’t the first time that the league has claimed three straight national titles. The same feat was accomplished between 2011 and 2013, when the Saint John Sea Dogs, Shawinigan Cataractes and Halifax Mooseheads respectively won consecutive tournaments.
Both the OHL and WHL have also seen their teams win three straight competitions, but have yet to establish a four-tournament title streak. The WHL’s Medecine Hat Tigers won back-to-back cups in 1987 and 1988 before the Swift Current Broncos took the top prize home in 1989. More recently in the OHL, the Oshawa Generals were crowned national champs in 2015 before seeing the London Knights and Windsor Spitfires win the next two tournaments.
While the Quebec Remparts are understandably focused on their own success these days, the rest of the QMJHL now has a reason to cheer them on!