|2007 Mastercard Memorial Cup
Schedule of Games
|Game 1 - Vancouver 4, Plymouth 3 (OT)
|Game 2 - Lewiston 3, Medicine Hat 1
|Game 3 - Vancouver 2, Lewiston 1
|Game 4 - Medicine Hat 4, Plymouth 1
|Game 5 - Plymouth 2, Lewiston 1 (OT)
|Game 6 - Medicine Hat 1, Vancouver 0
|Game 7 - Tie-Breaker - Plymouth 5, Lewiston 1
|Game 8 - Semi-Final - Vancouver 8, Plymouth 1
|Game 9 - Final - Vancouver 3, Medicine Hat 1
|Click here for complete stats
2007 marked the 89th anniversary of the Memorial Cup featuring the host Vancouver Giants versus the Medicine Hat Tigers. The Giants and Tigers were no strangers to each other having met eight times in the month of May prior to Sunday's contest. The Tigers edged out the Giants during the WHL playoffs in a seven-game battle to capture the President's Cup trophy.
These two teams picked up where they left off when they met in the MasterCard Memorial Cup during round-robin play with the Tigers winning the game 1-0, which gave Medicine Hat a bye to the finals.
Vancouver squared off against the Plymouth Whalers in semi-final play and won the game convincingly 8-1, to earn their berth in the Memorial Cup Championship.
It only seemed fitting that the Memorial Cup Championship would showcase the Giants pitted against the Tigers in an all west final given the way these two teams played all season long. The last time there was an all west final was in 1989. And the fans agreed as they packed the Pacific Colisieum to the tune of 16,241.
The Giants, led by head coach Don Hay, wanted nothing more than to avenge their series loss to the Tigers in the WHL playoffs and hoist the Memorial Cup on home ice in front of their loyal fans. And that's exactly what they did.
The game saw both teams leave it all on the ice for 60 minutes in their quest for the Cup, but the Giants were just too good as they prevailed 3-1 to win their first Memorial Cup in franchise history.
Milan Lucic was named the tournament MVP, which was more than deserving as this ruggad forward battled each and every game for the Giants. The win marked Don Hay's third Memorial Cup as a head coach.
End-to-end action took place in the first period, but both teams skated to a scorless tie. Mario Bliznak opened the scoring for the Giants at the 6:07 mark of the second period. A.J. Thelen and Kenndal McArdle were credited with the assists. Darren Helm responded for the Tigers on the power play at the 15:49 mark of the second period. Derek Dorsett pick up the assist on Helm's goal.
With just over five minutes remaining in the game and the possibility of overtime looming, Michal Repik snuck out from behind the net and scored the biggest goal of his WHL career. Lucic assisted Repik's goal. Repik's goal proved to be the game winner. Spencer Machacek added and empty net marker to seal the victory for the Giants. Bliznak assisted Machacek's goal.
The fans erupted in excitement when David Branch, President of the CHL, presented Giants captain Brett Festerling with the Memorial Cup. The win was an emotional one for the Giants player's, coaching staff and ownership group as the team got past a very difficult opponent in the Medicine Hat Tigers to reach their goal, which was winning the Memorial Cup.
Overall, the 2007 MasterCard Memorial Cup was an incredible success with an entertaining brand of hockey on the ice all week, record attendance numbers, fans taking in the action from across the country and an organizing committee who did a brilliant job putting the entire tournament together.