For the first time since 2019, the CHL’s Memorial Cup has been awarded, this time to the tournament-host Saint John Sea Dogs, who defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs by a score of 6-3 this evening to win the 2022 Memorial Cup. Saint John’s run was one of the more interesting ones, the team taking an impressive 44-17-4 regular season record into the playoffs, falling to the Rimouski Oceanic in the first round. As the host, Saint John was nonetheless awarded a spot in the final four of the Memorial Cup, along with the OHL Champion Hamilton Bulldogs, the QMJHL Champion Shawinigan Cataractes, and the WHL Champion Edmonton Oil Kings.
However, after the impressive season, Saint John and GM Trevor Georgie made the decision to fire Head Coach Gordie Dwyer, hiring University of New Brunswick coach Gardiner MacDougall. That choice, met with some question marks, ended up paying dividends for Saint John, who have taken the CHL’s ultimate prize, the first host team to win the tournament since the Windsor Spitfires did so in 2017.
The Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy for the tournament’s Most Valuable Player was awarded to Saint John’s William Dufour, who’s seven goals lead the tournament and was one shy for most all-time in a single tournament. This wasn’t Dufour’s first MVP this season, having won the QMJHL’s MVP award for the 2021-22 regular season as well after putting up an incredible 56 goals and 60 assists in just 66 games. A fifth-round pick of the New York Islanders in 2020, Dufour has elevated his prospect status this season and could be destined for a pro debut in the Islanders organization next season after signing his ELC in April.