Owen Beck Battles For Berth In Memorial Cup Final

Owen Beck has one more chance to win advance to a Memorial Cup Final on Friday night.
Owen Beck Saginaw Spirit
Owen Beck Saginaw Spirit / Chris Tanouye/GettyImages

The Saginaw Spirit and Moose Jaw Warriors had one of the best games of the Memorial Cup in the tournament's opening game. The Spirit took a 4-0 lead thanks to Owen Beck, draft-eligible Zayne Parekh, and 2025 draft-eligible Michael Misa. However, the Warriors marched back to make it 4-3. Beck assisted on an insurance goal in the third period, but Moose Jaw made it interesting again to finish the game 5-4. It likely won't be the same in the semifinals, as the Warriors will be ready for the Saginaw onslaught. The Spirit had an opportunity at the first-seed and automatic entry into the Memorial Cup Final but lost to the London Knights on Wednesday night. The winner of this matchup will get a rematch with the Knights in the Final, as the Drummondville Voltigeurs were sent home early with a 0-3 record.

The Spirit and Warriors will face off on TSN on Friday at 7:30 PM ET. The winner will advance to the Final against the Knights on Sunday at 7:30 PM ET.

Moose Jaw Warriors Road to the Semifinal

The Warriors started the tournament 0-2 after losses to the Spirit and Knights, setting up a matchup with Drummondville in their final round-robin game for a spot in the semifinal. The Warriors found themselves shorthanded in the dying minutes, but the 18-year-old defenseman Aiden Ziprick scored the shorthanded winner with 94 seconds remaining. Ziprick had one goal in 84 career WHL games, but that won't matter if the winning goal gets them to the Memorial Cup Final. Brayden Yager, a Pittsburgh Penguins draft pick, had nothing but praise for the blueliner.

""We were so happy for him. He scored such a huge goal. It was from such an unexpected guy. Zips isn’t a goalscorer but he’s been a great player for us all year. He’s a solid stay-at-home defenceman but he can rip the ‘pill’ and he got his chance and made the most of it.""

Brayden Yager

No one could count out the Warriors in this tournament, as they lost games to both the Spirit and Knights by 5-4 scores. The Warriors could sneak into a Memorial Cup Championship if all their offensive talent comes together for two more games.

Saginaw Spirit Road to the Semifinal

The Spirit started the tournament on fire, defeating the Warriors and Voltigeurs to sit atop the standings with London. However, they still couldn't get over the hump against the Knights, falling 4-2 in their final round-robin game to set up a rematch with the Warriors in the semi-finals. If the Spirit gets past Moose Jaw, they have to feel they are due for a victory against the Knights after losing to them in the Eastern Conference Finals in the OHL Playoffs and then losing the crucial round-robin game.

Zayne Parekh has boosted his draft stock, leading the Spirit with five points in the Memorial Cup. Parekh and Misa are tied for second in the tournament with four assists each. The young squad from Saginaw may still win this tournament, but it's easy to imagine how good they would have been in two years when Parekh and Misa had more experience. Parekh will be drafted early this year, but will likely return next year to try and win an OHL Championship with Misa in his draft year.

Montreal fans have been tuning in to see Owen Beck in this tournament, but they have to be intrigued by Parekh and Misa. Parekh will likely be around at their No. 5 overall pick this year, but most fans will hope for a forward prospect. Fans also hope that the Habs will be better than a lottery pick next season, but Misa could be a name to keep on your radar if the Habs fall behind in the standings in 2024-25.