May 19, 2017 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
Windsor, ON - The 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup festivities are officially underway following a day full of celebration highlighted by the Memorial Cup's arrival to the City of Windsor.
The historic trophy ventured along the Detroit River Thursday evening from Sarnia on board the Canadian Coast Guard Patrol vessel Constable Carriere before docking at Dieppe Gardens.
From there it was off-loaded and embarked on a military led parade through the streets of downtown Windsor to the Cenotaph for a ceremony that included Royal Canadian Legion veterans and dignitaries.
The procession included participation from Windsor Police Services, Royal Canadian Legion Colour Party Zone A-1, Sterling Heights Police Colour Party, Royal Canadian Navy, Windsor Regiment, Essex and Kent Regiment, #31 Service Battalion, RCMP, CBSA, Veterans, Cadet Units, Windsor Fire Department, and Military G-Wagons, M-37's, and 43 Willys Jeeps.
"The reason we have all gathered in Windsor is to celebrate the Memorial Cup," said Michael Akpata, Military Liason for the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup Host Committee. "The Memorial Cup, one of the most prestigious and coveted trophies in North American sport, has a rich tradition that has shaped the way junior hockey is played in North America. The trophy originated in 1919, in remembrance of the many soldiers who paid the supreme sacrifice for Canada in The First World War. In 2010 the Memorial Cup was rededicated to the memory of all fallen Canadian Military Personnel."
The program at the Cenotaph included First Nations Drummers, the singing of both Canadian and American national anthems, the playing of The Last Post, Scottish Pipers, a wreath laying at the Cenotaph by WWII veteran Ralph Mayville, Gun Salute by members of the R.C.N.A Firing Party, Presentation of the Colours by the most Senior Veterans Organization, and the singing of God Save the Queen.
The event concluded with a parade of the Memorial Cup to City Hall where the trophy was displayed for public photo opportunities.
The 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup Host Committee sincerely thanks the Ministry of National Defense for their contributions to the arrival ceremony, and to the many volunteers and community members for helping make this outstanding event a success.
2017 marks the 99th edition of the prestigious national championship featuring the host Spitfires along with the Erie Otters (Ontario Hockey League champions), Seattle Thunderbirds (Western Hockey League champions), and the Saint John Sea Dogs (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champions).
The puck drops tonight with Game 1 featuring the Spitfires and Sea Dogs at 7:00 pm. All games are broadcast live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.
The 2017 MasterCard Memorial Cup is proudly supported by Mastercard, title sponsor of this event for 19 straight years. Associate sponsors include CIBC, Cooper Tires, and autoTRADER.ca. For more information please visit www.mastercardmemorialcup.ca.