With a win in Manitoba on Saturday night, a team from Saskatchewan has qualified for the 2010 RBC Cup. Which one? That’s still up in the air.
The Dauphin Kings wrapped up their first Manitoba Junior Hockey League championship since 1993 on the weekend, beating the Winnipeg Saints 5-4 to complete a four-game sweep. The final series featured three one-goal games, including a pair of 1-0 overtime classics.
Next up for the Kings? An Anavet Cup match-up with the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League champions, either the Yorkton Terriers or the La Ronge Ice Wolves. As of Monday, those two teams were deadlocked at a game apiece, with Game 3 set for Tuesday night in Yorkton.
But with the Kings already booking their spot at the 2010 RBC Cup as the host team, the SJHL champ is guaranteed a berth as the West Region representative before the first puck is even dropped in the regional series, and well before the last whistle blows in the league championship series.
Talk about added incentives.
It’s the first time since 2004 that a second RBC team has been decided this early – that year, the BCHL champion Nanaimo Clippers got in as the Pacific rep thanks to AJHL champion Grande Prairie’s host team status (the Clippers earned the Doyle Cup, winning in five games).
While both teams will have little to play for – other than bragging rights and momentum – in the Anavet Cup series, the Kings will be looking to follow in the footsteps of the 2002 Halifax Oland Exports, the last National Junior A Championship host team to win a regional championship. The Oland Exports earned the Fred Page Cup with a victory over the CJHL’s Ottawa Junior Senators (who got in as East Region rep), and followed that up with a national championship, topping the MJHL’s OCN Blizzard 3-1 in the final game.
And with a Saskatchewan team guaranteed to be making the trip to Dauphin, the host committee of the 2010 RBC Cup has announced an SJHL-only ticket package – tickets to all four round-robin games featuring the SJHL team, as well as both semifinals and the championship game – all for only $150.
To purchase an SJHL-only ticket package, or the Kings Pack, which includes tickets to all of Dauphin’s round-robin games plus both semifinals and the championship game, call the RBC Cup ticket office at 1-888-459-2010.