Majors hit Mem Cup 'jackpot'
DAVE FULLER, QMI Agency
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- At last, the Memorial Cup is coming home to Toronto...er...Mississauga, which is pretty close.
The Canadian junior hockey championship hasn't been held in the GTA since 1967, the same year the Maple Leafs last won the Stanley Cup.
Maybe it's an omen...
The St. Mike's Majors, who reached the OHL Eastern conference semi-finals before being ousted by the Barrie Colts, got a measure of revenge Monday, when they beat out Barrie to host the 2011 Memorial Cup next May at the Hershey Centre.
The Kingston Frontenacs and Windsor Spitfires, who won the Cup last year, and are favoured to repeat as champions when the 2010 tournament gets under way Friday in Brandon, Man., were also finalists to host the event.
NHL executive Frank Bonello, who was on the four-man selection committee, said the Majors were the obvious choice, given the host team receives an automatic bye into the national tourney.
"They've got 19 players coming back next year, and they had a pretty good team this year," Bonello explained. "Barrie is losing 12 players, Windsor loses nine.
"Mississauga is going to sell out. There's going to be a lot of interest in the area, what with 2.5 million people living in Toronto, and everyone else from Oshawa to Kitchener will want to come too."
Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion found out her city had won the right to host the Cup while celebrating Mothers' Day with her family.
"We hit the jackpot with this one," McCallion said. "St. Mike's is going to win the 2011 Cup, too. Right boys?"