By Andrew Rankin - Metro Halifax
SASKATOON - The Halifax Mooseheads are heading to the Memorial Cup final.
The Herd earned a direct spot in the championship game after the Portland Winterhawks defeated the host Saskatoon Blades 4-2 at the Credit Union Centre on Wednesday night.
By finishing as the top team in round robin play, the Herd is rewarded with three days off until Sunday’s matchup at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon.
“We didn’t have any control about the outcome of the game tonight but our No. 1 wish was to play on Sunday,” said Mooseheads coach Dominique Ducharme, speaking immediately after Wednesday’s game. “Here we are, we have three days to get ready for that game and that is what we wanted.”
Thursday will see the Blades, the only team that’s defeated the Mooseheads thus far, take on the London Knights in the tiebreaker game. The winner of that matchup will advance to the tournament semifinal against the Winterhawks on Friday.
Ducharme said he hadn’t firmed up plans for the coming days because he was awaiting the outcome of Wednesday’s matchup.
“(Thursday) we’ll be on the ice, we’ll see what we do for Friday but for sure we’ll be on the ice Saturday, too.”
Though happy with the three days rest, Ducharme insists his team won’t hold an advantage over its championship game opponent.
“Who ever we play they would have played on Friday and then they’ll get a day off on Saturday, it won’t be an advantage. All we want to do is just take care of ourselves; that will remain our focus.”
Come Sunday, Ducharme said the Mooseheads would be prepared for a fight.
“We’ll prepare ourselves now to make the most out of the time we’ve been given,” he said.