BATHURST, NB - Bathurst, NB, has been awarded the 2002 National Midget Hockey Championship, the Canadian Hockey Association announced on Friday.
The National Midget Hockey Championship, in its current format, made its debut in 1979 in Winnipeg, MB. Since 1984, it has adopted a regional format with six teams taking part, a host team and five regional champions (Atlantic, Quebec, Central, West, Pacific)
The National Midget Hockey Championship has been held in New Brunswick on two previous occasions. The event was held in Moncton, NB in 1977 and in 1986. Among the participants in 1986, the host team from Moncton boasted current Carolina Hurricane Scott Pellerin while Burnaby, BC iced current Colorado Avalanche star Joe Sakic.
Other current and former NHL stars who have taken part in this annual event over the years include Rod Brind'amour (1986-87), Wendel Clark (1982), Ron Francis (1980), Ron Hextall, (1980), Simon Gagné (1997), Olaf Kolzig (1987), Al MacInnis (1979), Larry Murphy (1977); Mike Peca (1990), Brad Stuart (1997) and Steve Yzerman (1980).
"We're excited about the opportunity to host the National Midget Hockey Championship in 2002," said Howie Peters, President of the New Brunswick Amateur Hockey Association. "Bathurst will be a great host and we look forward to holding this event."
"On behalf of the Bathurst Host Committee it is an honor for us to have been chosen as hosts of this prestigious event," said Hollis Chamberlain, Chair of the 2002 Host Committee. "The people of Bathurst have proven their support of hockey with the Acadie-Bathurst Titans of the QMJHL and we expect strong support from the entire community in creating an exciting atmosphere for the participating teams."
The tournament opens with a round-robin round with the top four teams qualifying for the playoff round. This is followed by two crossover games (first against fourth, second against third) and the Bronze and Gold medal games on the final day.
Air Canada has been involved as the title sponsor of the National Midget Hockey Championship for the past 23 years. Details regarding sponsorship of the National Midget Championship will be forthcoming.