YORKTON, SK - The city of Yorkton, Saskatchewan is finalizing its preparations as host of the National Junior "A" Hockey Championship, the Royal Bank Cup.
From May 1st through May 9th, Yorkton will host Canada's premier Junior "A" teams as they battle for the Royal Bank Cup. The Host team, the Yorkton Terriers, is the only confirmed entry to date, while fourteen other Junior "A" teams from across Canada remain in contention for the remaining four spots.
"We're looking forward to an extremely competitive event," said Reg Coles, co-chairman of the Yorkton Host Committee. "There are some terrific battles going on in the regionals as these teams shoot for an opportunity to play here in Yorkton for the Royal Bank Cup."
Four regional tournaments are either underway or about to get underway in the next few days. Winners of these tournaments will join Yorkton for the Royal Bank Cup beginning May 1st.
In regional playdowns, the Estevan Bruins (SJHL) are facing the OCN Blizzard (MJHL) for the Anavet Cup. The Calgary Canucks (AJHL) and the Vernon Vipers (BCJHL) or the Kimberley Dynamiters (RMJHL) will get underway soon in quest of the Doyle Cup. The Dudley Hewitt Cup has the Rayside Balfour Sabrecats (NOJHL) up against Bramalea Blues (OPJHL). And the Fred Page Cup brings together the Charlottetown A&S Abbies (Host), the Antigonish Bulldogs (MarJHL), either the Valleyfield Braves or the Contrecoeur ƒperviers (LHJAAAQ) and either the Hawkesbury Hawks or the Brockville Braves (CJHL)
The province of Saskatchewan, and in particular, the town of Yorkton, has a proud Junior "A" tradition. The SJHL has produced six National champions and three runner-ups over the 28 year history of the event.
"Yorkton is very proud to be hosting the Royal Bank Cup," said Ben Weber, mayor of Yorkton. "The Terriers have always been a source of pride for our community, and Junior "A" hockey has been an important part of our winters for over 25 years."
Ticket sales are indicative of the community's interest. Nearly 1000 of the 2200 seats have already been sold through ticket packages. Tickets for individual games will go on sale in the days leading up to the Royal Bank Cup.
"Ticket sales have gone well," said Gene Krepakevich, co-chairman of the Yorkton Host Committee. "Obviously, once all the teams have been confirmed and there are team names on the schedule, we expect even more interest."
The 1999 Royal Bank Cup marks the fourth year of Royal Bank's involvement in Junior "A" hockey.
"The Royal Bank branch in Yorkton is looking forward to this event with great anticipation," noted Linda Broda, Royal Brank branch manager in Yorkton. "It's a terrific opportunity to enhance our image in the community and showcase our staff. During the tournament, we will be hosting a Parent's Breakfast on May 5th and a Pancake breakfast for all Championship ship ticket-holders on May 9th."