WEYBURN, SK - Weyburn, SK has been awarded the 2005 RBC Royal Bank Cup, Canada's National Junior A Hockey Championship, as announced by Hockey Canada on Wednesday.
The 2005 championship, which will be held May 7 -, will mark a decade for the RBC Financial Group as the title sponsor.
" On behalf of Hockey Canada's Junior Council, I am pleased and proud to offer congratulations to the Weyburn Red Wings and the City of Weyburn on their successful bid to host the RBC Royal Bank Cup tournament in 2005", stated Wayne Kartusch, Hockey Canada’s Junior Council Chair. "Weyburn, with its long and rich tradition in Junior hockey, will provide a memorable experience for players and fans alike in this National Championship for Junior A hockey."
The RBC Royal Bank Cup has been previously held in Saskatchewan on seven occasions. The event was held in Prince Albert in 1977, 19 when it was known as the Centennial Cup. This will mark the second time Weyburn has hosted the Junior A National Championship. Weyburn won the championship the last time the city hosted in 1984. Humboldt also hosted the former Centennial Cup in 1987. Since the championship was renamed the Royal Bank Cup in 1996, it has been hosted in Saskatchewan twice, once in Melfort in 1996 and Yorkton in 1999. Of the seven times Saskatchewan has hosted the tournament, they have played in the championship game six times (77, 79, 82, 84, 87, 96) and won it on four occasions (77, 79, 82, 84).
" This event continues to gain momentum every year and has truly become a National Event. The tournament features some outstanding hockey as the top five Junior A teams in Canada compete for the right to call themselves National Champions, but it has also become a terrific community celebration," said Peter Carton, Regional Vice President, RBC Financial Group. "We look forward to working with Hockey Canada and the Host Committee to ensure that all locals and visitors that experience the event have the opportunity to capture what Weyburn is all about."
The host team, the Weyburn Red Wings, has a strong reputation as being a recurrent contender in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. "The 2005 RBC Royal Bank Cup will become a major community and provincial event which will combine hockey excellence, sportsmanship, fellowship, organization, historical celebration and good old fashioned community hospitality", said Pat Maloney, Co-chair of the Host Committee. "The enthusiasm for this tournament in Weyburn has the unanimous support of the Government of Saskatchewan, the City of Weyburn, the citizens and businesses of Weyburn and area, and the many supportive fans of the Weyburn Red Wings Hockey Club."
The tournament opens with a five team round-robin round with the top four teams qualifying for the playoff round. The round-robin is followed by two crossover games (first against fourth and second against third). The Gold medal game will be played on the final day of the championship, , and will be broadcast on TSN/RDS, the official broadcaster of Hockey Canada.
Notable alumni who have played in previous RBC Royal Bank Cups (Centennial Cups) include Rod Brind’Amour (Carolina Hurricanes), Scott Gomez (New Jersey Devils), Greg Johnson (Nashville Predators), Curtis Joseph (Detroit Red Wings) and Scott Pellerin (Dallas Stars).
" The Saskatchewan Hockey Association is very pleased to once again have the RBC Royal Bank Cup hosted in Saskatchewan", stated Al Hubbs, President of the SHA. "We know that Weyburn will follow in the tradition of events hosted in this Branch by raising the bar for excellence"
To commemorate the awarding of this event to Weyburn, an on-ice ceremony will take place during the first intermission of the game between the Weyburn Red Wings and the Estevan Bruins on Saturday, December 6th in the Weyburn Colosseum at 7:30 pm local time.
RBC Financial Group has been the title sponsor for this event since 1996, and continues to show tremendous support for the event from a National, Provincial, Regional and local level. RBC Financial Group is also one of the Premier Sponsors of Hockey Canada, an integral part of Hockey Canada’s development and high performance programs.