CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI - Charlottetown, PEI has been awarded the 2003 Royal Bank Cup, Canada's National Junior "A" Hockey Championship, the Canadian Hockey Association announced on Saturday.
The 2003 Championship, which will be held May 3 will mark the 8th year of existence, with Royal Bank as the title sponsor for the prestigious National Championship. The Royal Bank Cup was previously called the "Centennial Cup".
"The CHAs Junior Council is very excited to have the Royal Bank Cup moving to Charlottetown in 2003," said Tom Lundy, the CHAs Junior Council Director. "This event has become one of the CHAs premier national championships and continues to improve every year. The host communities have always been very supportive of this event and I know that Charlottetown will put on a great show."
The Royal Bank Cup has been previously held in Prince Edward Island on three occasions. The event was held in Charlottetown in 1971, when it was known as the Centennial Cup. Summerside, PEI has held the event twice, most recently in 1997 when the host team, the Summerside Western Capitals, were crowned champions. Summerside also played host in 1989, when the event was known as the Centennial Cup.
"We're looking forward to having the Championship back on the east coast, first in Halifax in 2002 and then in Charlottetown in 2003," says Mary MacInnis, manager RBC Royal Bank in Charlottetown. "Everyone is excited, the Royal Bank staff, the PEI Hockey Association, the players, and most of all the fans."
Notable alumnus who have played in previous Royal Bank Cups (Centennial Cups) include Rod BrindAmour (Carolina Hurricanes), Scott Gomez (New Jersey Devils), Greg Johnson (Nashville Predators), Curtis Joseph (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Scott Pellerin (Carolina Hurricanes).
"Island fans are very excited in the anticipation of hosting this prestigious national hockey event," says Wayne MacDougall, Chair of the 2003 Charlottetown Royal Bank Cup.
The tournament opens with a five team round-robin round with the top four teams qualifying for the playoff round. The round-robin is followed by two crossover games (first against fourth and second against third). The Gold medal game will be played on the final day of the championship and will be broadcast live on TSN/RDS, the official broadcaster of the CHA.
"We are extremely excited to have a championship of this magnitude come to Prince Edward Island," stated Allie Wooldridge, President of the Prince Edward Island Hockey Association. "I know that the people of Charlottetown will do everything in their power to ensure that the 2003 Royal Bank Cup is the best ever!"
Royal Bank Financial Group has been the title sponsor for this event since 1996, and continues to show tremendous support for the event from a National, Provincial, Regional and local level. Royal Bank Financial Group is also one of the premier sponsors of the CHA, an integral part of the CHAs development and high performance programs.
The 2002 Royal Bank Cup is slated for the Halifax Forum in Halifax, NS form May 4-12, 2002. For all your 2002 Royal Bank Cup information, including ticket information and hotel information, log onto the official website of the Canadian Hockey Association, www.canadianhockey.ca for details.