PRINCE GEORGE, BC - Prince George, BC will play host to the 23rd edition of the Air Canada Cup, Canada's National Midget Hockey Championship, from April 23-29, with the gold medal final game being televised nationally on TSN and on RDS.
Six teams will be taking part in this year's tournament, one host team and five regional teams (Atlantic, Quebec, Central, West, Pacific)
The National Midget Hockey Championship has been held in British Columbia twice before. The Air Canada Cup was in Victoria, BC in 1982 and in 1996, Kamloops hosted the event. Only once before has a British Columbia captured the Midget Championship, and it goes back to 1982 in Victoria, as the Burnaby Winter Club Travellers defeated the Ste-Foy Gouverneurs in the final. The Burnaby squad included current NHL-er Cliff Ronning.
Other British Columbia natives who have taken part in this annual event include current NHL-ers Joe Sakic and Wade Flaherty as well as former NHL-er Glenn Anderson.
"We're very happy to be hosting the Air Canada Cup this year in British Columbia," said Bob Woodward, president of the British Columbia Amateur Hockey Association. "We are honored to be hosting players from across Canada and assure them all that they will never forget their time in Prince George."
"The community of Prince George is thrilled to be less than two months from hosting the Air Canada Cup," said Hal Green, Co-chair of the Host Committee. "Ticket sales have been great and as the tournament draws closer, we know that hockey fans from far and wide will make plans to join us for some high caliber hockey."
The teams will play round-robin games on April 23-27 with the top four teams qualifying for the playoff round. The semi-finals (first against fourth, second against third) will be held on April 28th, with the Bronze and Gold medal games scheduled for April 29th. All games will be played at the Prince George Multiplex. The six teams will be wearing jerseys and socks courtesy of Bauer NIKE Hockey, while all helmets, facial protection and neck protectors are provided by ITECH.
Participating teams will be determined over the next month during regional playdowns. Four of the five regional playdowns will be held during the weekend of April 6-8: the Atlantic Regional Playdown, in Miramichi, NB, the Central Regional Playdown in Kitchener, ON, the Pacific Regional Playdown in Alberta and the Western Regional Playdown in Moose Jaw, SK. The Quebec Midget finals are scheduled to begin on .
"Air Canada has been a long time supporter of hockey in this country and we have been proud to sponsor the Air Canada Cup for the last 23 years," said Shannon Ohama, Manager Event Marketing for Air Canada. "We wish Prince George all the best and look forward to joining everyone for a week of fantastic competition at this year's Air Canada Cup."
The Gold medal game will be played at 8 pm EDT (5 pm local) on Sunday, April 29 and will be broadcast live across Canada on TSN and on RDS.
For any ticket information, call 250-614-9100 or any Towne Ticket Centre near you.