Championships All Around This Weekend
If you’ve been following our weekly Prospect Report, then you probably know that two of the Preds offensive prospects, Brent Andrews and Brendan Leipsic, were in the finals of their respective Canadian Hockey Leagues this past week. Both championship dreams were realized over the weekend as the Halifax Mooseheads and the Portland Winterhawks were crowned champions.
In the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the Mooseheads recorded a 5-1 victory over the Baie-Comeau Drakkar en route to their first-ever QMJHL championship at the Metro Centre in Halifax. Halifax posted a 16-1 record on its way to capturing the President’s Cup – outscoring the opposition 90-36 during that span.
Andrews (seventh round/2011) was held scoreless in the finale, but went 15-of-20 (75 percent) in the faceoff circle and ranked sixth in playoff faceoff wins (156). He carried over his regular season success after finishing as one of the top faceoff men in the QMJHL during the 2012-13 season. Andrews finished the postseason with 11 points (4g-7a) in 17 playoff contests.
Top draft-eligible prospects Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin were once again the flag bearers for the Mooseheads. Drouin earned playoff MVP honors – in addition to his regular season MVP award – after recording 35 points in 17 postseason games.
In the Western Hockey League, Leipsic and his Portland Winterhawks finished off the Edmonton Oil Kings on Sunday night at Rexall Place. The Winterhawks, who lost in both the 2011 and 2012 WHL finals, claimed their third WHL Championship – Portland previously won in 1998 (a team coached by Predators Hockey Operations advisor Brent Peterson) and in 1982.
Leipsic (third round/2012) finished the WHL playoffs ranked fourth in postseason points (10g-14a-24pts; 21gp), fifth in goals, eighth in assists, fourth in power-play goals (4), fifth in power-play assists (6) and second in penalty minutes (41).
Halifax and Portland will join the Saskatoon Blades and the London Knights in the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup, which begins on Friday, May 17 in Saskatoon. The Mooseheads and Winterhawks square off on Saturday, May 18th at 4 p.m. CT. Visit mastercardmemorialcup.ca for more details.