The puck drops on the 2019 Memorial Cup Presented by Kia as the host Halifax Mooseheads welcome the WHL Champion Prince Albert Raiders to town to begin tournament play Friday evening.
Your three keys to the game for the Prince Albert Raiders are as follows:
1) Scotty being Scotty: Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Ian Scott has been widely regarded as the best goaltender in the tournament and he will need to be exactly that if the Raiders are to find success.Through 23 appearances in the 2019 WHL Playoffs, Scott went 16-7 with a 1.96 goals-against average, .925 save percentage and five shutouts. His performance was good enough to earn him WHL Playoff MVP honours mere weeks after he was recognized with the Del Wilson Memorial Trophy as WHL Goaltender of the Year for the 2018-19 regular season.
2) Shutdown Raphael Lavoie: 2019 NHL Draft prospect Raphael Lavoie was a force for the Halifax Mooseheads during the 2019 QMJHL Playoffs as he recorded 20 goals in 23 contests. At 6-foot-4 and 198 pounds, the burly product of Chambly, Que., can create havoc in and around the crease. The Raiders rangy defence, featuring the likes of Brayden Pachal, Max Martin, Zack Hayes, Jeremy Masella, Sergei Sapego and Kaiden Guhle, will need to do everything in their power to keep Lavoie to the perimeter and clog up shooting lanes.
3) Aggressive forecheck: Led by Detroit Red Wings prospect Jared McIsaac (2-36, 2018), the Halifax Mooseheads own a mobile blueline and like to catch teams with a quick transition game and generate offense off the rush. If the Raiders are to limit the Mooseheads opportunities, they will need to get in on the forecheck quickly and put pressure on the Mooseheads defence to force quick decisions and limit their ability to turn the puck up ice quickly.
Game 1 of the 2019 Memorial Cup Presented by Kia is set for 5 p.m. MT/8 p.m. AT in Halifax. Catch all the action on Sportsnet or at CHLLive.ca. For complete information on the 2019 Memorial Cup, please visit chlmemorialcup.ca.