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Memorial Cup championship will feature clash of the titans

Seattle will face Quebec, with both teams ranked in the national top five for much of the season
A quartet of Seattle Thunderbirds celebrates a goal in the team's 4-1 seminal win over the Peterborough Petes on June 2, 2023, at the Memorial Cup tourney in Kamloops.

The Seattle Thunderbirds will play the Quebec Remparts in the Memorial Cup championship game on Sunday, June 4, at Sandman Centre. Faceoff is 4 p.m.

This will be Seattle's first championship game appearance, while it will be the fifth time Quebec has played for the title. The Remparts won the Memorial Cup in 1971 and 2006 and lost in the title game in 1973 and 1974.

The Western Hockey League champion Thunderbirds defeated the Ontario Hockey League champion Peterborough Petes 4-1 in the tournament semifinal on Friday night.

Seattle outshot Peterborough 47-28 in the three-goal margin of victory, with goals from Brad Lambert, Colton Dach, Kyle Crnkovic and Nico Myatovic, the last into an empty net.

Brennan Othmann scored Peterborough’s lone goal.

Petes’ goaltender Michael Simpson stopped 43 of 46 shots that came his way, while Thunderbirds’ goalie Thomas Milic saved 27 of 28 shots he faced.

Seattle advanced to the semifinal game via a dominant 6-1 win over the host Kamloops Blazers in the final round-robin game on Wednesday. Peterborough qualified for the semifinal game via its impressive 5-4 overtime win over the Blazers in Thursday’s tiebreaker game in which Kamloops gave up a 4-1 lead in the second period.

Quebec went 2-1 in the round-robin, finishing first and qualifying for the championship game after its second game, when it sat 2-0 in the standings.

The Remparts will have had four days off by the time the title tilt is played on Sunday. The Thunderbirds will have played every second day going back a week.

The championship final features the two teams widely considered the favourites at this year’s Memorial Cup tourney, with both the Remparts and Thunderbirds consistently ranked in the Canadian Hockey League’s top five slots all season long.

Quebec finished first overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League regular season standings this year and going 16-2 in the playoffs en route to the title.

Seattle finished second overall in the WHL regular season standings and went 16-3 in the playoffs.

In Memorial Cup round-robin play, Quebec defeated Seattle 3-1.