CALGARY -- Following their 2006 Allan Cup championship victory, Hockey Canada announced that the Powell River Regals will embark on a trip to Belarus from February 5-11, 2007 to represent Canada at the four-team Belarus Cup, joining the national teams from Belarus and Latvia, as well as a yet-to-be-named Russian Elite League team at the round-robin tournament.
This will be the second time the Regals have represented Canada – they traveled to Nagano, Japan for an event in 2001 following their 2000 Allan Cup win.
Since the Regals’ participation in the 2001, the Allan Cup champions have participated in an international event annually, with the exception of 2005, when the Allan Cup runner-up Mid-West (SK) Islanders represented Canada at the Nagano Cup.
Other participants include the Lloydminster BorderKings, who faced Poland’s national team in a three-game exhibition series in 2002, the St. Georges Garaga and Ile-des-Chenes North Stars, who attended the 20 Nagano Cups, respectively, and the Thunder Bay Bombers, who took part in the 2006 Hungarian Cup.
“We are very excited and equally proud of our accomplishments on and off the ice. The Regals feel more fortunate than most, as this is our second time in the past six years representing Canada at an event overseas,” said Tod English, director of hockey operations for the Regals. “Our players are both honored and privileged to compete for Canada and thank Hockey Canada for the opportunity and support. This tournament is very good for hockey across the country as it shows the drive and determination at the truest form of amateur sports, while demonstrating that it can still have ‘major league’ rewards and recognition.”
The Regals won their third Allan Cup – they were also crowned national men’s senior AAA champions in 1997, to go along with their two titles in this decade – with a 7-1 home-ice victory over the Whitby (ON) Dunlops on April 22.
Depending on the availability of the players, the Regals roster for the event will consist of most of those who won the 2006 Allan Cup, along with some Canadian players playing in Europe.
“While some of our players have experience playing international competition, we will look to gain an edge wherever possible,” said Regals general manager Scott Mastrodonato. “As a player, wearing the maple leaf on your chest is a chance of a lifetime and we look forward to the opportunity to play for our country.”
“The Allan Cup has a long and storied history in Canada, and we could not be more excited for the Powell River Regals, the 2006 Allan Cup champions, to represent Canada at the Belarus Cup,” said Johnny Misley, executive vice-president of hockey operations for Hockey Canada. “We have no doubt that they will do Canada proud, and we wish them the best of luck at the Belarus Cup in February.”