Monday was a cold, wet and dreary day in Kitchener, a far cry from the warmer weather in Spokane. The temperatures hit the low 40's here last night and with the wind chill it felt like winter again. Why not? We're still playing hockey aren't we?
The Chiefs enjoyed a nice day off after a huge win over tournament favorite Kitchener on Sunday. Spokane went through a light workout at the practice rink at Sportsworld down the road from the Kitchener Auditorium.
There's definitely a feeling with this team that the work is far from done and there's a lot to be done in the final week of the season.
It seems hard to believe that's the case, but next Sunday it all comes to an end in the Memorial Cup championship game. The team will watch the Belleville-Gatineau game tonight knowing if Belleville wins, the Chiefs game tomorrow night with Gatineau will be meaningless as far as Spokane making the finals is concerned.
Spokane wins the tiebreakers with both Belleville and Kitchener, who would both be 1-1; and with Gatineau 0-2, they couldn't catch Spokane's record. However, if Gatineau wins the Chiefs know they have their fate in their own hands. A win over the Quebec League champion Olympiques would give Spokane a 3-0 mark and an automatic berth in the finals.
That's the team's focus right now. A win translates into four days to prepare for the championship.
On Monday the team took a shopping trip to the Aud's souvenir stand and stocked up on some Memorial Cup goodies. It was a good time for the guys to meet up with their families and spend the afternoon with them. The team also received a goody bag from the Cup as well.
Some of the Chiefs staff departed back for Spokane today. They'll be missed at the games. They sure were a vocal bunch and anecdotally I have heard team members appreciated the support. We went out as a group Sunday night to celebrate as the servers at Bobby O'Brien's, a local establishment, had to wear Chiefs jerseys after losing a bet with the staff over the Kitchener game.
The Chiefs will now rest up tonight getting ready for tomorrow's final round robin game with Gatineau. Here's to hoping Spokane plays its best hockey yet; secure a win, thus requiring one more W to bring the Cup home to Spokane!