DAUPHIN, Man. – The Dauphin Kings and Vernon Vipers will meet for the 2010 RBC Cup, Canada’s 40th National Junior A Championship, after posting semifinal wins on Saturday at the Parkland Recreation Complex. The Kings defeated the La Ronge Ice Wolves 6-2 while the Vipers topped the Brockville Braves 2-0.
Sunday’s championship game can be seen live on TSN2 at 3 p.m. ET/noon PT. Check your local listings for broadcast times in your area.
With a win Sunday, the Kings would become just the seventh host team to win the tournament since it went to its current five-team format in 1990, and just the third to do it with an undefeated record, joining Olds in 1994 and Halifax in 2002. The Vipers are chasing their sixth national championship – they’re already the only team to win five, having claimed last year’s title in Victoria, B.C. A win by Vernon would make it just the third team to repeat as national champions, joining Vernon in 1990-91 and Prince Albert in 1981-82.
In Friday’s early semifinal, the Vipers and Braves were scoreless through almost 50 minutes of hockey before Connor Jones – making his tournament debut after sitting out the round robin with an undisclosed injury – broke the tie with a terrific individual effort, slipping around a Brockville defender before sliding the puck through the five-hole of Justin Gilbert, the tournament’s Top Goaltender. Jones set up his twin brother Kellen for the insurance goal six minutes later as the Vipers moved on to the championship game for the sixth time in eight appearances – they are 5-0 in national title games.
In the late game, Kings captain Steven Shamanski scored twice and added an assist as Dauphin became the first host team to qualify for the final since Prince George in 2007. Shamanski’s first goal made it 3-0 just past the midway point of the second period, and although the Ice Wolves made it 3-2 before the end of 40 minutes, the hosts controlled the third period, getting goals from Shamanski, Zeanan Ziemer and Mitch Czibere to earn their fifth-consecutive win at the 2010 RBC Cup and run their home ice record to a remarkable 43-2-1, including regular season and playoffs.
The teams’ round-robin meeting came on Saturday night in the first game for both. Vernon held leads of 2-0, 4-2 and 5-4, but the Kings forced overtime before Mathew Backhouse scored the winner just 42 seconds into the extra frame to give Dauphin the victory.
NOTE TO MEDIA: Jason LaRose, Hockey Canada’s coordinator of communications/content development, will be on site at the 2010 RBC Cup and will be the media contact for interviews, information or photos. He can be reached at 403-703-8791 or firstname.lastname@example.org.