Newfoundlanders Evan Fitzpatrick, Adam Holwell, and Jordan Maher, along with the rest of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, find out tonight who they will face in Sunday’s Memorial Cup final in Regina.
The host Regina Pats and Ontario Hockey League champion Hamilton Bulldogs square off in an 11:30 p.m. (NT) semifinal, with the winner advancing to face the Titan in the championship game, 8:30 p.m. NT Sunday.
The Pats, Bulldogs and Titan all finished with 2-1 records in the preliminary round, but the tiebreaker formula resulted in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champions from Bathurst, N.B., getting the bye.
That gives teh Titan five days off between games, They last played Tuesday in a 3-2 loss to Regina.
If the Pats had lost to the WHL champion Swift Current Broncos in Wednesday’s final round-robin game, Hamilton would have prevailed in a tiebreaker with the Titan and received a berth in the Canadian major junior championship game. However, Regina downed Swift Current 6-5.
Fitzpatrick, a native of St. John’s, has started all three games in goal for the Titan, with a 3.94 GAA and .879 save percentage. Howell, a defenceman from St. John’s, has a goal and a plus-three rating, while Maher, a centre from Gander has an assist.
Sunday’s game could be the final major junior contest for all three Newfoundlanders.
Fitzpatrick, a 2016 second-round draft pick of St. Louis, has already signed his entry-level deal with the Blues and is set to turn pro in the fall. As an overager, Holwell definitely will be playing his last game in the junior ranks, and the 20-year-old Maher could also be leaving, although he could return as an overager in 2018-19.