5 Teams Since 1972 To Win Memorial Cup In Consecutive Seasons

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The Memorial Cup has been awarded to Canada's best junior hockey team since 1919. With the Windsor Spitfires winning in 2009 and 2010, five different teams have won the trophy in consecutive seasons since tournament format changes in 1972.

The Memorial Cup has been awarded to Canada’s best junior hockey team since the 1918-19 season. Since 1971-72, it has been solely awarded to the best major junior team in the country. That 1972 Memorial Cup was the first year that the trophy was competed for in a tournament format with representatives from each of the three major junior leagues meeting for a round-robin style competition. Starting in 1982-83, the Memorial Cup tournament switched to a four team format with the host league providing two teams.

memorial cup trophy canadian hockey league championIn the history of the Memorial Cup, a team has won the trophy in two consecutive seasons eight times with no team ever winning three years in a row. Since the 1971-72 season, five team have won in consecutive seasons, three from the WHL and one each from the OHL and QMJHL.

The New Westminster Bruins of the WHL won the Memorial Cup in 1976-77 and 1977-78. In 1977, the Bruins faced off against the Ottawa 67’s and Sherbrooke Castors and met Ottawa in the final, coming out on top 6-5. The tournament that season was played in Vancouver, British Columbia. The following season, New Westminster played the Peterborough Petes and Trois Rivieres Draveurs at the Mem tournament held in Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury, Ontario. In the final game, the Bruins beat the Petes 7-4. Over the two seasons, future NHL players Barry Beck, Stan Smyl and John Ogrodnick dressed for New Westminster.

The Cornwall Royals spent their final two seasons in the QMJHL, 1979-80 and 1980-81, as the Memorial Cup champions. In 1980, the Royals faced off against the Peterborough Petes and Regina Pats in Brandon, Manitoba and Regina, Saskatchewan. Cornwall beat Peterborough 3-2 in overtime to be crowned national champs. In 1981, Cornwall took out the Kitchener Rangers 8-2 in the final to win their second straight Memorial Cup. The Victoria Cougars also participated in that tournament held in Windsor, Ontario. The Royals were led by future Hockey Hall of Famers Dale Hawerchuk and Doug Gilmour.

With the help of future long time Vancouver Canucks captain Trevor Linden, the Medicine Hat Tigers won the Memorial Cup in 1986-87 and 1987-88. In 1987, the Tigers took out the host Oshawa Generals 6-2 in the final. The Longueuil Chevaliers represented the QMJHL. In 1988, the tournament moved to Chicoutimi, Quebec and the Tigers beat the Windsor Spitfires 7-6 in the final. The two Quebec teams in the 1988 tournament were the Drummondville Voltigeurs and the Hull Olympiques.

The WHL’s Kamloops Blazers were the next team to win consecutive Memorial Cups, doing it in 1993-94 and 1994-95. The Jarome Iginla and Darcy Tucker led Blazers won the 1994 tournament with a 5-3 victory over the host Laval Titan in the final. The Chicoutimi Sagueneens and North Bay Centennials were also-rans. In 1995, Kamloops breezed to victory with an 8-2 thumping of the Detroit Junior Red Wings in Kamloops, British Columbia. The Brandon Wheat Kings and Hull Olympiques also competed.

The Windsor Spitfires of the OHL are the last team to win consecutive Memorial Cups, accomplishing the feat in 2008-09 and 2009-10. The Spits, led by Ryan Ellis and Taylor Hall, beat the Kelowna Rockets 4-1 in the 2009 final, held in Rimouski, Quebec. Along with the host Rimouski Oceanic, the Drummondville Voltigeurs represented the QMJHL. In 2010, Windsor took out the host Brandon Wheat Kings with a 3-1 victory in the final. The Moncton Wildcats and Calgary Hitmen also participated.

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Tom Samworth
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