SUDBURY, Ont. -- Canadian Hockey, Air Canada, the City of Sudbury and the Sudbury Minor Hockey Association announced Wednesday that the 1998 Air Canada Cup National Midget Hockey Championship will be held in Sudbury in April 1998.
The tournament showcases some of Canada's best midget-aged (16-17) players, many of whom have graduated to play in the National Hockey League.
Hosted by the Sudbury Minor Hockey Association, and presented by Canadian Hockey, the Northern Ontario Hockey Association, Air Canada, Imperial Oil and the Royal Bank, all games in the championship will be played at the Sudbury Arena, home of the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League, a strong supporter of the event.
'Canadian Hockey is confident that the 1998 championship will once again provide the top calibre competition with which the Air Canada Cup is synonymous,' said Frank Lento, Canadian Hockey chairman. 'Sudbury is an outstanding hockey community and we sincerely believe the 1998 Air Canada Cup will again receive strong support from this area's many hockey fans.
'Also, Canadian Hockey extends its thanks to its corporate sponsors -- Air Canada, Royal Bank and Imperial Oil. Without their support, this tournament simply would not have grown into the prestigious event that it is.'
The tournament features five regional champions and the host team playing in a single round-robin series during the first four days of competition. The top four teams in round-0obin play meet in two sudden-victory semifinal matchups.
The two winners meet in the Air Canada Cup National Midget Hockey Championship final, which is broadcast live on both The Sports Network (TSN), as well as its sister station, Le Réseau des sports (RDS).
The tournament is the culmination of nationwide midget playdowns, in which Canadian Hockey's 12 branch champions compete in Air Canada regional tournaments. The tournament has been a fixture on the Canadian Hockey scene since its inception in 1979.
'Sudbury, a great hockey community, is proud to be playing host to a tournament of this stature and plans to make the 1998 event among the best ever staged,' said Oscar Clouthier,' co-chairman for the tournament.
Gabe Guzzo, co-chair of the 1998 Air Canada Cup National Midget Hockey Championship, said: 'We are fortunate to have the OHL's Sudbury Wolves as a strong supporter of this event, which will give so many midget-aged players the chance to strut their stuff on a national platform.'
Julio Navarro, president of the Sudbury Minor Hockey Association, said: 'Our preparation for the 1998 Air Canada Cup National Midget Hockey Championship is already well underway. We are excited already about holding the tournament and look forward to the event itself.'