ALLAN CUP CHAMPS KICK OFF BELARUS CUP FRIDAY AGAINST RUSSIA
The Powell River Regals, 2006 Allan Cup champions, open up the 2007 Belarus Cup on Friday morning when they take to the ice in Gomel, Belarus and face Russia’s Salavat Yulaev.
The game will be Canada’s first of three at the four-team, round-robin tournament, which also includes national teams from Latvia and the host Belarussians.
2006 ALLAN CUP CHAMPIONS TO REPRESENT CANADA AT INTERNATIONAL EVENT
CALGARY -- Following their 2006 Allan Cup championship victory, Hockey Canada announced that the Powell River Regals will embark on a trip to Belarus from February 5-11, 2007 to represent Canada at the four-team Belarus Cup, joining the national teams from Belarus and Latvia, as well as a yet-to-be-named Russian Elite League team at the round-robin tournament. » more
POWELL RIVER REGALS CAPTURE 2006 ALLAN CUP
Powell River caps a week of hockey mania with a final game in front of a sold out hometown crowd
Powell River Regals captured the 2006 Allan Cup and the Senior Men's AAA championship title after dominating the Ontario champion, Whitby Dunlops, in a lopsided game that ended 7-1.
In one of the most one-sided finals in Allan Cup history, the Regals jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Kip Noble and game MVP (most-valuable player) Mike MacKay.
Mike Ridley scored at 1:17 of the second and then the Regals added a couple of powerplay goals from MacKay and Misko Antisin to run the score to 5-0 after two periods.
Randall Smisko opened the scoring in the third and Ridley got his second on a terrific solo effort to make it 7-0 before Whitby got on the board.
The last few seconds ran down and the Regals poured over the boards to congratulate each other in front of a sold-out crowd that was on its feet.
The president of the CAHA (Canadian Amateur Hockey Association), Lorne Wilm, presented the Allan Cup to Regal captain Rick McLaren who handed it off to tournament MVP Kip Noble. Noble took a quick tour around the arena amid the cheers of Regal fans and the celebratory skates with the hoisted hardware were officially underway.
Noble was overwhelmed by the moment and expressed his immense gratitude to the Regals' organization for helping him achieve his goal.
"I just want to thank them for the invitation to play. It was the chance of a lifetime for me and the biggest thing I've ever won in my career," said the star defenceman.
Chad Vizzutti had a phenomenal series with just a shade over a goal a game average that earned him the all-star goaltender award. True to his character, he directed all accolades in the direction of his teammates.
"Look at this team. Thirty guys and every single one of them contributed in their own way, and I tip my hat to the coaching staff who had to make some real tough decisions," he said.
Regal's Antisin and Noble were locks on the defenceman all-star award selections but the crowd roared its approval when McLaren grabbed one as a forward. McLaren, who hit everything that moved, contributed on the scoresheet and kept his team dialed in. He was overjoyed with the team's success.
"It's unbelievable. We had so much depth. We knew what we had to do and everyone gave 110 per cent," he said.
Mike Hurley of the Fort Saskatchewan Hotel Chiefs and Dunlop's Peter McKellar rounded out the all-star team selections.
Not named as an all star, but certainly playing like one, was Randall Smisko, who gladly took a few stitches in his face to help his team.
"It's great this week to be here and win this with these guys and it's a great team. I love playing with them," he said.
Justin Yarocki had a great series on defence and was grateful for the chance to participate after missing the last Allan Cup due to an injury.
"It's unbelievable for me and the family name. I won a ring in 2000 and I didn't even go to the tournament because I had broken my leg, and to actually dress for the semifinal and final game is amazing," he said.
He spoke to the strength and courage of those players who watched from the stands by saying, "This is my ninth year as a Regal and my first two games and it's important to stay positive."
Another Regal whose patience was rewarded with a start in the final game was Joe Calderone.
His crunching bodycheck on a Dunlop forward sent their bench a clear message.
"He was watching his pass and I finished my check and right away I knew I had gotten under their skin because their bench was yelling, '15, we've got your number'," he said.
The stellar play of Vizzutti and importance of each and every game didn't allow the popular Regal backup netminder, Scott Peters, to get into the action.
However, with a 7-0 lead and time running down in the final, Peters got his chance.
"Chad Vizzutti showed a lot of class tonight. He came by and asked if I wanted to finish off and I gladly accepted. It was a very special moment," he said.
Tod English was clearly elated with the result and asked for a single comment to describe his feelings.
"I believe that this may be the best team in the modern history of the Allan Cup," said the proud coach.
Mike Prosavad, coach of the Dunlops was inclined to agree and was very impressed with the Regals.
"Full credit to them. Right from the drop of the puck every game they just worked every single shift. They're an excellent club--well coached, a lot of experience and my hat's off to them," he said.
John Vanderkemp, who was honoured when his number 25 jersey was raised on April 21, shared his thoughts on winning from his position behind the bench.
"It's no different really from being on the ice playing. It's just a feeling of being so proud of those guys out there and watching them having fun and hoisting the cup. It's great," he said.
Scott Mastrodonato was instrumental in the organization of the event from the very beginning and had a number of people to acknowledge.
"We were thrilled. We had so many volunteers that did such a great job and the fans kept pouring in, so we had good problems when we had to worry about how many people were in the building as opposed to how many weren't," he said.
"A huge thumbs up to the fans. It's such an exciting moment as a player to just wait for the first goal of a sellout for the roof to blow off," he added.
The success of the team and the Allan Cup itself was obvious, but the jewel in the crown of the Regals was the dominance over their opposition.
"It hasn't really sunk in yet. We had a great team. We had a successful tournament. We did what we wanted to do and I think we had a dream team," Mastrodonato said.
Fans, volunteers and the Regals will agree that the dream team was for real and the Allan Cup is theirs for 2006.
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