LEDUC, Alta. – For the 39th time, Canada’s top Midget teams have gathered, this year in Leduc, to do battle for the National Midget Championship, beginning Monday, April 23. This year marks just the fourth time Alberta has hosted the TELUS Cup, joining Calgary in 19, and Red Deer in 2007.
The host Leduc Oil Kings are joined by five regional champions: the Phénix du Collège Esther-Blondin(Quebec), Moncton Flyers (Atlantic), Red Deer Rebels (Pacific), Saskatoon Contacts (West) and Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves (Central). The six competing teams will take to the ice at the Leduc Recreation Centre hoping to earn one of the two berths in Sunday’s nationally-televised gold medal game.
This year’s field includes two teams that have won the National Midget Championship in the last decade – Saskatoon (2005) and Sudbury (2008) – and another, Red Deer, that has played in three gold medal games without winning the national title; the Rebels lost the final in double overtime in both 19, and also took home silver in 1995. While Collège Esther-Blondin and the host Oil Kings are making their first TELUS Cup appearances, the other four teams all have plenty of experience – Red Deer is making its ninth trip to the national championship, Moncton is in for the seventh time, Sudbury’s appearance is its fifth and Saskatoon is making visit No. 4.
“It has been a long road to get to this point, and as a host committee we could not be more excited for the puck to drop on Monday,” said Jim Jones, chair of the 2012 TELUS Cup host committee. “The future of Canadian hockey will be on display in Leduc, and we’re confident this year’s national championship will provide life-long memories not only for the players, but for fans, volunteers and everyone involved.”
“As a proud partner of Hockey Canada, we are excited for this year’s TELUS Cup, one of the most thrilling hockey tournaments in the country,” said Andrea Goertz, senior vice-president, TELUS Strategic Initiatives. “TELUS is committed to the ongoing development and future success of young athletes across Canada, especially those competing in the TELUS Cup happening right here in Leduc. We wish the best of luck to the teams, players, coaches and officials. We hope they play hard, play fair, do their best and, most of all, have fun.”
The gold medal game will be held April 29 at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT and will be shown on TSN/RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcasters (check your local listings). All preliminary round games, semifinals and the bronze medal game can be seen live via webcast through FASTHockey at hockeycanada.fasthockey.com. Fans can watch all the action for free by following three steps:
STEP 1: Visit hockeycanada.fasthockey.com and sign up for a free FASTHockey account.
STEP 2: Like the TELUS Cup on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teluscup.
STEP 3: Just prior to the game, click the HC on FASTHockey link on the TELUS Cup Facebook page to watch.
Athletes at the 2012 TELUS Cup will be competing not only for a national championship, but also to raise funds for local minor hockey. Every year, TELUS invests millions of dollars to support Canadian athletes throughout Alberta and across the country – from the elite athletes competing for Canada on the world stage, to the grassroots programs that help children get actively involved in sport. Over the course of the 19-game tournament, TELUS will donate $100 for every goal scored, up to $5,000, to the Leduc Minor Hockey Association. This program will encourage teams to give it their all while giving back to the community.
A number of future NHLers have taken part in the National Midget Championship since its inception in 1974, including many who are currently taking part in the Stanley Cup Playoffs:
NOTE TO MEDIA: Jason LaRose, Hockey Canada’s coordinator of content services, will be on site in Leduc and can be reached at 403-703-8791 or firstname.lastname@example.org for any interview requests.