THUNDERBIRDS

T-Birds still control their own destiny despite 0-2 start at Memorial Cup

May 22, 2017, 8:01 PM
The Thunderbirds can secure a spot in the Memorial Cup semi-final with a win on Tuesday (Aaron Bell...
The Thunderbirds can secure a spot in the Memorial Cup semi-final with a win on Tuesday (Aaron Bell/CHL Images)
(Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

Following the Erie Otters’ 12-5 thumping of the Saint John Sea Dogs on Monday evening, the Thunderbirds’ situation becomes abundantly clear: beat Saint John on Tuesday night and you receive an automatic berth in the Memorial Cup semi-final game on Friday. Lose and your season is over.

Both Seattle and Saint John enter Tuesday night in a must-win situation after losing each of their first two games to the Ontario Hockey League’s two representatives, Erie and the Windsor Spitfires. Had Saint John defeated Erie on Monday night it’s possible that Seattle, Erie and Saint John could have all ended up 1-2, creating a tie-breaker situation where a game would need to be played on Thursday in order to advance to the semi-final.

The Otters and Spitfires, both undefeated in the tournament so far, complete the round-robin portion of the Memorial Cup when they face off on Wednesday night. The winner will receive an automatic berth in the tournament’s championship game on Sunday evening. The loser will face the winner of Seattle and Saint John in the semi-final.

The format of the tournament has drawn the ire of many, but it does make every game played meaningful. It’s amazing to think that Seattle, who has yet to put together a performance in the Memorial Cup characteristic of their WHL success, still controls their own destiny. Of course, the same applies for the Sea Dogs, who rolled through the QMJHL playoffs with a 16-2 record but have also struggled in the tournament so far.

Neither Seattle nor Saint John has seen success against their OHL counterparts yet in the tournament. Seattle has been outscored 11-3 after falling in their opener 4-2 to Erie and then 7-1 to Windsor the following night.

Saint John, on the other hand, has been outscored 15-7. They fell to the Spitfires 3-2 after a furious third-period comeback, then had the ugly loss on Monday night.

For both of these teams, none of that matters now. It all comes down to one game to keep your season alive.

Thunderbirds

Thunderbirds GM Bil La Forge has some moves to make this offseason. (Brian Liesse/T-Birds photo)...
Andy Eide

Thunderbirds GM Bil La Forge dishes on the upcoming offseason

Thunderbirds general manager Bil La Forge will make some moves this summer to improve his club. Will they be big ones?
1 year ago
Seattle’s Keltie Jeri-Leon celebrates his final WHL goal Sunday against Spokane. (Brian Liess...
Andy Eide

Thunderbirds end strange and hard season on a high note with dominating win over Spokane

The Seattle Thunderbirds dealt with a lot of adversity this season but end on a high note.
1 year ago
Keltie Jeri-Leon plays his final WHL game for the Thunderbirds Sunday night. (Brian Liesse)...
Andy Eide

Keltie Jeri-Leon set to play his final WHL game as Thunderbirds face Spokane Sunday

After five seasons, Seattle's lone over-aged player, Keltie Jeri-Leon will play his final junior game Sunday night.
1 year ago
Seattle rookie Scott Ratzlaff won his first WHL game in his first start. (Judy Simpson/TC Americans...
Andy Eide

Scott Ratzlaff earns first WHL win as Thunderbirds beat Tri-City

Behind a rookie goalie, the Thunderbirds kicked off the season's final weekend with a 5-2 win in Kennewick against the Tri-City Americans.
1 year ago
The Seattle Thunderbirds celebrate after snapping a six-game losing streak Sunday night. (Brian Lie...
Andy Eide

Thunderbirds enjoy winning again after snapping six-game losing streak

The Seattle Thunderbirds have been scuffling but battled against a good Portland Winterhawks club to snap a six-game losing streak.
1 year ago
Thunderbirds forward Reid Schaefer fights for position Sunday in Portland. (Megan Connelly/Winterha...
Andy Eide

Dealing with adversity, young Thunderbirds drop pair of games in Portland

Injuries and penalties have thrown a ton of adversity at the young Thunderbirds which showed up in a pair of losses at Portland this weekend.
1 year ago
T-Birds still control their own destiny despite 0-2 start at Memorial Cup