HALIFAX – There are some pretty intricate tie-breaking scenarios at the Memorial Cup, but one thing is crystal clear for the Guelph Storm: a win over the Prince Albert Raiders Tuesday night and they will control their own destiny.
Potentially complicated if they lose. Crystal clear if they win.
“RIght now the most important thing is we’re worrying about things we can do,” Storm coach George Burnett.
“We tell the players ‘just let the coaches and everybody else worry about all the scenarios and just take care of our business.’”
Should Guelph (1-0) beat Prince Albert (0-2) Tuesday they are guaranteed at least a spot in Friday’s Memorial Cup semifinal, with the possibility of a trip straight to the final, depending on what happens between Rouyn-Noranda (1-1) and Halifax (2-0) on Wednesday night.
Lose and Guelph may have to play in a Thursday tie-breaker, again depending on what happens on Wednesday.
Should three teams end up at 2-1, or 1-2, which with two games remaining in the round robin is possible, the tournament's tie-breaking formula kicks in.
“This is a must-win game for both teams and we know that,” said the Storm’s MacKenzie Entwistle after a brief game-day morning skate Tuesday.
“I think for us, the base thing is we’ve got to win. If we win we give ourselves a chance to go to the finals and if not we’re in the semis.”
Burnett said the key will be puck possession and discipline.
“Having the puck, trying to extend them in the offensive zone as best we can and we took too many penalties the other night,” Burnett said.
“We need to get back to being a disciplined hockey club, which we have been throughout the playoffs.”
The Storm spent Monday’s day off doing some shopping and spending time with families, as some miserable weather cancelled a planned sightseeing excursion to Peggy’s Cove.
Entwistle said the tournament has not seen the best version of the Guelph Storm yet.
“I don’t think we were at our best and I don’t think even that first game we were at our best,” Entwistle said.
“The last game we got our-worked and out-competed and it showed on the scoreboard. We didn’t deserve to win. But that’s an easy fix. We haven’t had one of those games in a while.”
Prince Albert turned in a stinker in the tournament's first game but played much better Monday in a 6-3 loss to Rouyn-Noranda, a score that wasn't particularly representative of the game.
“We’re far from done,” said Raiders coach Marc Habscheid.
“We think we should be in a better position than we are, but we’re not. It i what it is. The Raiders are not finished yet.”
Guelph will be the visiting team for the first time in the tournament on Tuesday.
Game time is 7 p.m.