SLAM! Sports, in
the Canadian Hockey
League, teams up to bring you
coverage of Canada's
3 Major Junior
SLAM! Jr. Hockey
Sunday, May 17, 1998
1998 Memorial Cup Notebook
Spokane breaks Memorial Cup attendance record
A total of 73,013 fans clicked through the turnstiles for the tournament for an average attendance of 9,126 per game, shattering the 1990 record of 8,820 fans per game when the tournament was held in Hamilton.
The highest attendance ever for a Memorial Cup tournament is 77,296 in 1989 when the host city was Saskatoon.
The Swift Current Broncos won it all that year, but there were nine games in that tournament.
This year's tournament did not require a tie-breaker or else Spokane would easily have passed Saskatoon's numbers as well.
MEM CUP ALL-STARS ANNOUNCED: The 1998 Memorial Cup all-star team was announced after the championship game.
In goal is tournament MVP Chris Madden of Guelph. On defence are "Bitter" Brad Ference of the host Spokane Chiefs and Francis Lessard of the Val d'Or Foreurs.
The forward line features Slavakian teammates Andrej Podkonicky and Marian Hossa of the Portland Winter Hawks and top prospect Manny Malhotra of the Guelph Storm.
SOBER CELEBRATION: Since the drinking age in the United States is 21, the champagne flowing in the Portland Winter Hawks' dressing room was of the non-alcoholic variety.
Two cases of the teen-friendly bubbly were provided for the Memorial Cup winners.
Just wondering: Why is it that you can vote governments in and out and get your head blown off for your country, but you can't have a beer?
HOME ICE ADVANTAGE: With several hundred Portland fans having made the trip from Oregon to Spokane to cheer on the Winter Hawks, the scoreboard people decided to play favorites and flash 'Go Hawks Go' messages on the scoreboard.
The Memorial Cup has not resided in an American city since the Spokane Chiefs won it back in 1991.
A CHARACTER GUY: Guelph's Manny Malhotra, a 17-year-old centre from Mississauga, won the most sportsmanlike award for the 1998 Memorial Cup (George H. Parsons Trophy), while teammate Chris Madden was named the outstanding goalie (Leighton 'Hap' Emms Trophy) and Portland's Andrej Podkonicky won the top scoring award (Ed Chynoweth Award).
DIPLOMACY RULES: Guelph coach George Burnett was livid after Ryan Davis got a kneeing major and a game misconduct with just over five minutes left in regulation.
He didn't want to comment on the call, which, from these eyes at least, didn't look inaccurate.
"I think there were some frustrations, but there always is in a big game," said Burnett. "But that's the way hockey is."
GO OUT ON TOP: Portland sniper Todd Robinson, in his last year with the Winter Hawks, went out on top at his first Memorial Cup tournament.
"It's unbelievable," said Robinson, who will likely play in Europe or the International Hockey League next season. "I couldn't ask to go out in a better way."
OVERTIME: Portland's overtime victory in the 1998 Memorial Cup final marked the first time since 1990 that a championship game had been decided in overtime and the fifth time overall since round robin play began in 1972.
The Oshawa Generals beat the Kitchener Rangers 4-3 in double OT that year.
The Swift Current Broncos beat the Saskatoon Blades 4-3 in 1989 in overtime and in 1980, the Cornwall Royals beat the Peterborough Petes 3-2 in OT.
The first Memorial Cup championship to be decided in overtime was in 1979 when the Petes beat the Brando Wheat Kings 2-1.