Breaking down the teams competing at the 100th Memorial Cup in Regina

REGINA — The 100th Memorial Cup gets underway on Friday with the host Regina Pats taking on the Ontario Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs.

Here’s a look at each of the teams competing at this year’s Canadian Hockey League championship tourney:

REGINA PATS, HOST

2017-18 record: 40-25-7, third in East Division

How they got here: Tournament host. Lost in first round of WHL playoffs to Swift Current.

Player to watch: Sam Steel. The 2016 first-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks had 83 points in 54 regular-season games while adding 11 points in seven playoff contests. Won gold with Canada at the 2018 world junior championship and was the 2016-17 WHL player of the year.

Fun fact: The Pats also lost in the first round of the playoffs the last time they hosted the Memorial Cup in 2001. Regina lost to Val-d’Or in the semifinal of that tournament.

SWIFT CURRENT BRONCOS, WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE CHAMPIONS

2017-18 record: 48-17-7, second in East Division

How they got here: Defeated Everett in six games to claim the Ed Chynoweth Cup.

Player to watch: Stuart Skinner. He had a WHL-playoff leading six shutouts, 2.20 goals-against average and .932 save percentage in 26 post-season games. Swift Current acquired him from Lethbridge in January and the Edmonton Oilers prospect has been solid ever since.

Fun fact: The Broncos hadn’t won a league title since 1993 — the most recent time a Saskatchewan-based WHL franchise was crowned league champion.

HAMILTON BULLDOGS, ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE CHAMPIONS

2017-18 record: 43-18-7, first in Eastern Conference

How they got here: Beat Sault Ste. Marie in six games to capture the J. Ross Robertson Cup.

Player to watch: Robert Thomas. The 2017 first-round pick of the St. Louis Blues recorded seven points in the OHL final and 32 in the playoffs, earning Thomas the post-season MVP award. The Bulldogs acquired him from the London Knights in January, shortly after he won world junior gold with Canada.

Fun fact: The team reached the Memorial Cup in just its third season since relocating from Belleville. It’s Hamilton’s first OHL title since 1976.

ACADIE-BATHURST TITAN, QUEBEC MAJOR JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE CHAMPIONS

2017-18 record: 43-15-10, second overall in QMJHL

How they got here: Got past Blainville-Boisbriand in six games to win the President Cup.

Player to watch: Noah Dobson. Scouts will be watching the defenceman closely as he’s projected as a top-10 selection at the NHL draft in June. The 18-year-old tied for second in QMJHL playoff scoring by a defencemen with three goals and 10 assists in 20 games.

Fun fact: Acadie-Bathurst last won the QMJHL title in 1999 — the same season the Titan relocated from Laval, Que.

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