As the end of the 2007 TELUS Cup draws near and the playoff round gets set to kick off this weekend, focus is already beginning to shift to the 2008 TELUS Cup, to be held in Arnprior, ON.
A 30-minute drive west of Ottawa, Arnprior will look to draw not only from its 8,000 residents, but also from the thousands of people from surrounding communities within 30-minute drive of the city.
“We’ve got a fairly large population around Arnprior to draw from, and that’s what we’re going to do,” says Rick Davis, a member of Arnprior’s host committee. “We want to make sure we get the other communities involved.”
Unlike this year’s National Midget Championship in Red Deer, which featured games in nearby Olds and
Carstairs, that involvement will not include out-of-town games.
“Our rink has two ice surfaces and all games will be played there,” Davis says. “There is no need for Arnprior to share its hosting duties, when then entire event can be held right here.”
The Ottawa Valley Titans will be the host team for the 2008 TELUS Cup, marking the first appearance in the National Midget Championship for the team.
The Titans, who play in the Ottawa District Minor Hockey Association, finished 7-19--07 and fell in five games to the Gloucester Rangers in the opening round of the ODMHA playoffs.
The 2008 TELUS Cup will not be the first national event to take place in the Ontario city – the 2002 Esso Women’s Nationals were held in Arnprior shortly after Canada’s National Women’s Team won the gold medal at the 2002 Olympics.
“We were able to take positives and negatives away from that event,” Davis says, “and we’ll use that knowledge to our advantage for 2008.”
Both Davis and Linda Betts, another 2008 host committee member, were present in Red Deer for this year’s National Midget Championship, taking notes and watching just how things were run.
Betts says she will take a number of positives away from her experience in Red Deer.
“Coaches and representatives have been pretty positive about the whole event,” says Betts. “It’s easy for
the people on the outside to criticize, not knowing how much work goes into an event like this, but all these
volunteers and organizers have done a really good job.”
As Red Deer passes the hosting torch onto the eastern Ontario town, close to 365 days remain until the first puck drops in Arnprior in April 2008, but planning is already well underway for what organizers hope will be the best TELUS Cup yet.
“We’re excited to welcome players and parents from across the country to Arnprior, and our plan is to give them the best experience they can have,” Betts says. “We want them to remember Arnprior.”