CALGARY, AB -- Prince Albert, SK will play host to the 21st edition of the Air Canada Cup, the National Midget championship, from April 19-25, with the gold medal final game being televised nationally on TSN and on Réseau des Sports.
Six teams are taking part in this years tournament: Les Gouverneurs de Ste-Foy from Quebec region, the Regina Pat Canadians from the Western region, the Cape Breton Jeans Experts from the Atlantic region, the Sault Ste. Marie North Stars from the Central region, the Calgary Flames from the Pacific region and the host team, the Prince Albert Mintos.
Ste-Foy is back in the National championship after a two-year absence. This will mark Ste-Foy's 10th participation in the Air Canada Cup since its inception in 1979. The Regina Pat Canadians are second among participating teams in number of previous appearances, as they participate for the fifth time, and the first time since 1994 as representative of the Western Region.
The teams will play round-robin games on April 19-23 with the top teams qualifying for the playoff round. The crossover games (first against fourth, second against third) will be held on April 24th, with the Bronze and Gold medal games scheduled for April 25. All games will be played at the Prince Albert Comuniplex.
The Gold medal game will be played at 3:30 pm EDT on Sunday, April 25 and will be bradcast live across Canada on TSN and on RDS.
"The organizing committee has done extraordinary work in getting everything ready for this tournament," said Jim Bristowe, the tournament co-chair, along with Peter Gach. "All of the city of Prince Albert has rallied behind us and we're very excited to be hosting such an important annual event in Canadian hockey."
Don Brown, the Canadian Hockey Association's representative at the the championship, noted the key contribution made by Air Canada which has lent its enthusiastic support to this event for more than two decades.
"Air Canada not only sponsors one of the great championships in Canadian hockey, it also sponsors the five
regional tournaments that produce the finalists," said Don Brown. "The airline's involvement is also
reflected, in part, in the impressive lineup of awards."
At the conclusion of the championship final game, the presentation of the Air Canada Cup Trophy will be made on-ice to the captain of the victorious team.
The individuals selected as the Player-of-the-Game from each team after every game in the tournament receive Player-of-the-Game medallions. Those chosen for the Player-of-the-Game awards in the championship final will receive Esquire watches, in addition to the individual award medallions.
Based on their individual performances during the four-day round-robin section of the 1999 Air Canada Cup, six individual player awards will be presented.
The player judged by an independent panel as the outstanding performer will receive the Air Canada Cup Most Valuable Player Trophy. He will also receive from Air Canada a $1,000 college scholarship for future use at an institution of higher learning of his choice. Completing his MVP award package will be an ITECH equipment bag, a golf shirt and a jacket, compliments of ITECH Sports Products Inc.
The other individual awards include the Air Canada Cup top scorer, best goaltender, most outstanding forward, best defenceman and most sportsmanlike player. Each player will receive an 1999 Air Canada Cup Trophy and a sports package courtesy of Itech Sports Products Inc. for their accomplishments.
One player at the Air Canada Cup will receive a $1,000 Esso Kids Scholarship Award. Selections will be made with input from coaches, team and championship organizers and educators, with the major consideration being academic excellence.