A lot of what Windsor Spitfires coach Bob Boughner does with his team can be traced back to his experiences with Danny Flynn, who was an assistant coach with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
Boughner, who was the captain of that Sault Ste. Marie team, will get a chance to catch up with Flynn Tuesday night, but don't expect him to do his former coach any favors.
Flynn, now the coach of the QMJHL champion Moncton Wildcats, will be on the opposite bench Tuesday when the Spitfires and Wildcats meet at Westman Place in Brandon, Man., at the Memorial Cup (8 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, SPORTSNET).
With their win Monday against the WHL champion Calgary Hitmen, Windsor has earned a spot in the championship game for the second straight year, and can become the first team since the 1994-95 Kamloops Blazers to repeat as Memorial Cup champion.
"Teddy was the motivator and got the best out of his players. Danny was the X's and O's guy. He was the technician and really taught the key points of hockey." -- Windsor Spitfires coach Bob Boughner on Moncton Wildcats coach, Danny FlynnThe stakes are far higher for Moncton, which fell to 0-2 when it dropped a 4-0 decision to the host Brandon Wheat Kings on Sunday. A third loss would eliminate Moncton from the four-team round-robin tournament; a win would get them into Thursday's tie-breaker game.
Flynn arrived in Sault Ste. Marie to work under Ted Nolan for the 1990-91 season. Together, along with Boughner, the team's captain, they guided the Greyhounds to the OHL title and a spot in the Memorial Cup tournament. It was the only season Flynn and Boughner were together, but each made an impression on the other.
"He was a high-character kid and a great captain," Flynn told the Windsor Star of Boughner.
"Teddy was the motivator and got the best out of his players," Boughner said. "Danny was the X's and O's guy. He was the technician and really taught the key points of hockey."
Boughner still uses some of the things he learned from Flynn, from video work to color-coding his charts.
"I've taken a few things," Boughner said.
Flynn, who coached collegiately in Canada and also as an assistant under Nolan with the New York Islanders before taking the Moncton job in 2007, knew early on that Boughner would make a good coach.
"He willed himself into a 10-plus season pro career as an undersized defenseman," Flynn said. "I knew he had all the ingredients to be a good coach."
It also helps to have good players, which both coaches do in abundance. Boughner's squad is led by the indomitable Taylor Hall, who scored twice and added an assist in Monday's win. NHL Central Scouting's No. 2-rated North American skater for the 2010 Entry Draft leads the tournament with 4 goals and 5 points.
Windsor features six of the top-10 scorers at the tournament, a list that includes Justin Shugg, No. 58 on Central Scouting's final ranking list, who has 3 points. Other top players include Dale Mitchell, a 2007 third-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs; Adam Henrique, a 2008 third-round pick of the New Jersey Devils; Scott Timmins, a 2009 sixth-round pick of the Florida Panthers; and Zack Kassian, who the Buffalo Sabres took with the 13th pick of the 2009 draft.
Moncton also features its share of strong players, led by defenseman Brandon Gormley, ranked No. 6 by Central Scouting. Gormley's defense partner, David Savard, a 2009 fourth-round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets, is tied for the team lead with 2 points in two games. Alex Saulnier, who is available for the 2010 Entry Draft, leads the team with 2 goals.
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