Memorial Cup: the Remparts ready to weather the storm in Kamloops

Memorial Cup: Remparts ready to weather storm in Kamloops


KAMLOOPS | While the population of Kamloops prepares for the next few days which promise to be very hot, the Quebec Remparts are planning a storm on Friday evening during their first game of the Memorial Cup tournament against the host team. , the Kamloops Blazers. 

The Remparts set foot in Kamloops late Wednesday afternoon and will use the next few hours to fine-tune their preparation and adjust to the lag schedule in order to be ready to face a rested team.

The Blazers, who lost in the semi-finals to the eventual WHL champions, the Seattle Thunderbirds, will therefore have benefited from 18 days of rest before the start of the competition.

“It’s the host team, the crowd will be behind them. We will have to be ready to face a storm at the start of the game and it will be a good challenge for our group”, mentioned Patrick Roy, Wednesday evening during the traditional press conference bringing together the coaches of the four teams present at the Memorial Cup tournament. , the others being Shaun Clouston (Kamloops), Matt O'Dette (Seattle) and Rob Wilson (Peterborough).

For Roy, however, the crowd advantage may not be one as much as one might think. And he has a very specific example to illustrate his point.

“We experienced it in the final when we played all our local matches in front of 18,259 spectators and that added pressure on our team. The start of the game will be important and the first goal could make a difference.”

“We will have our hands full”

Kamloops Blazers head coach Shaun Clouston also had flowers to throw at his team's first opponents.

“Since we had several days off, it allowed us to watch the matches on television and know what awaited us. They have a lot of depth in attack and are a solid team defensively. It's very difficult to get to the net and you have to work to get there. They are also very good in transition. They defend well and then counter-attack quickly. We have one day left to fine-tune a few things, but we'll have our hands full, that's for sure.”

A special participation

For Roy, it's a return to the Memorial Cup, 17 years after winning the trophy in 2006 with the team led by Alexander Radulov.

He admitted, however, that being there, with this group that he often described as “special”, had something special.

“In 2006, we won the Memorial Cup in Moncton but we lost in the final of our league. So we sort of played the role of the host team. This year, we won the championship of our circuit and it is quite an accomplishment for our group. I'm lucky to have such a special group of great leaders. It's an honor for me to lead these players and it means a lot to me to be here with them.”

The first match of the tournament, between the Remparts and the Blazers, will take place on Friday at 9 p.m.