By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
You could make the case that the Kia Memorial Cup game is tonight, and not Sunday as scheduled.
The 2019 Tournament at Halifax resumes this evening with a semifinal match between the Ontario Hockey League Champion Guelph Storm and the Quebec League Champion Rouyn Noranda Huskies.
The winner tonight advances to the Championship game on Sunday night against the host Halifax Mooseheads.
Why could tonight be considered the " real " Kia Memorial Cup Championship ?
Well, first, I'm not a big fan of a " host team " winning the title as has been the case many times over the past 35 years.
Tonight's semifinal pits a CHL champion against another CHL Champion and there's something to be said for winning your way in.
Having said that, Halifax is a very, very good team, advancing to Championship Final in the Quebec League before losing and then gaining first place after the preliminary round based on the tiebreaking format.
The Mooseheads, the Storm and the Huskies all went 2 & 1 in the round robin, but Halifax got the nod on the mathematical tiebreaker and received the direct path to Sunday's Championship game leaving the other two to do battle tonight.
Be that as it may, I still think the game tonight is the Championship contest.
Rouyn Noranda has proved multiple times that they're the better team head to head with Halifax, no matter where the game was played.
And Guelph looked powerful in their last game against Prince Albert and will have an extra day of rest compared to the Huskies, so if the Storm win tonight, I like their chances come Sunday.
But Halifax is waiting for the Kia Memorial Cup Final against the winner of Guelph-Rouyn Noranda regardless of what I think tonight's game represents.
I'm Fred Wallace