Dalhousie’s varsity teams were on summer break for the past four months, but the rest of Halifax was still busy hosting some big sporting events. Here’s what was happening.
Memorial Cup Madness
The Halifax Mooseheads hosted the Memorial Cup from May 16-26 at the Scotiabank Centre, a tournament that is the culmination of the best junior hockey in Canada. The champions of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and the Western Hockey League (WHL) compete against each other and a host team to see who will be crowned the best team in the country. The tournament consists of a round robin format and then based on those standings, a semi-final and a final game are played.
This year, it was the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, the Guelph Storm, the Prince Albert Raiders and the Halifax Mooseheads battling it out. The atmosphere was intense at each game as fans from all over the country travelled to Nova Scotia to support their teams.
The Mooseheads were looking to repeat the success they had in 2013 when they won the tournament, led by now-NHL star Nathan MacKinnon. After a strong round robin showing this year, the Mooseheads fell just short in the final as they couldn’t solve the dominant Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.
The Huskies and Mooseheads faced each other in the final round of the QMJHL season, and it was the Huskies who emerged victorious in six games in the best-of-seven series. They continued to dominate in the Memorial Cup as they skated away with a 4-2 win against the hometown team.
Defenseman Noah Dobson was key in the effort for the Huskies, averaging over 37 minutes of ice time in the last two games of the tournament, while Joël Teasdale was named the Most Valuable Player. This was a historic year for the Huskies, as it was their first time ever winning the Memorial Cup.
Just before the city became occupied with ice hockey for 10 days, Halifax hosted the U19 Men’s World Floorball Championships from May 8-12 — the first time it was held outside of Europe. Floorball is a type of floor hockey, with five players on each team plus a goalie. Like ice hockey, matches consist of three 20-minute periods.
Games for this tournament were played at the Dalplex and at the Zatzman Sportsplex in Dartmouth. Sixteen teams from all over the world competed, with eight teams in the A-Division and the other half in the B-Division. Canada, competing in the B-Division, finished in 13th place overall.
Winning the tournament for the first time ever was the Czech Republic with an 8-2 win over Sweden, while Finland took the bronze medal against Switzerland. It was a reversal of the outcome in 2017, when Finland came first, Sweden second and the Czech Republic third.
The next U19 Men’s World Floorball Championships will take place in 2021 in the Czech Republic.