LEDUC, Alta. – After two exciting semifinals on Saturday, the gold medal game is set at the 2012 TELUS Cup.
The Phenix du Collège Esther-Blondin (Quebec) and Red Deer Rebels (Pacific) will meet for Canada’s 39th National Midget Championship on Sunday night at the Leduc Recreation Centre after posting victories in their respective semifinals. The Rebels got 29 saves from Dasan Sydora in a 2-0 win over the Saskatoon Contacts (West), while David Storto had two goals and an assist for the Phénix in its 8-2 victory over the Leduc Oil Kings (Host).
Sunday’s gold medal game will be broadcast live on TSN at 2:30 p.m. MT/4:30 p.m. ET. Check your local listings for the broadcast time in your area.
The Rebels are making their ninth appearance at the National Midget Championship and will play in the gold medal game for the fourth time; they lost the final in double overtime in 1994, to the Regina Pat Canadians, and 2007, to the Prince Albert Mintos, and also finished as runner-up in 1995. Red Deer is trying to become the first Pacific Region team since the Calgary Northstars in 2003 to win the national title.
The Phénix is making its first appearance at the national championship, and is trying to become the first Quebec Region team to win the gold medal since the Gouverneurs de Ste-Foy in 2001.
The game marks the first time since 2003, when the Calgary Northstars beat the Gaulois du Collège Antoine-Girouard 5-1, that the Quebec Region champions and Pacific Region champions will meet for Canada’s National Midget Championship.
Sunday’s final is also the first time since the start of the six-team format in 1984 that two teams without a loss will meet in the gold medal game. Including the semifinals, the Rebels are 4-0-2, while the Phénix enter with a record of 5-0-1.
In the early semifinal, the Rebels got 29 saves from Dasan Sydora, named Top Goaltender at Friday night’s awards banquet, and goals from captain Brady Bakke and Scott Ferguson to blank the Contacts. Bakke scored early in the second period and Ferguson added insurance late in the third to back Sydora, who made 14 of his saves in the third period, when Red Deer was outshot 14-10.
In the late game, the Phénix got four points each from David Storto (two goals, two assists) and Laurent Dauphin (one goal, three assists) to knock off the Oil Kings for the second time in as many days. Vincent Deslauriers added a pair of goals and David Bergeron, Daniel Audette, Laurent Dauphin and Kevin Deslauriers also scored for Collège Esther-Blondin, which scored five times in the third period to pull away.
The Rebels and Phénix met Thursday afternoon in a preliminary round match-up. Goals from Scott Feser and Jonathan Finnigan gave Red Deer a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes, but Audette scored twice in the third period to earn a single point for Collège Esther-Blondin in a 2-2 tie, the lone blemish on its record.
The Contacts and Oil Kings will meet for the bronze medal on Sunday morning (10:30 a.m. MT). That game will be available through FASTHockey at hockeycanada.fasthockey.com. Fans can watch all the action for free by following three steps:
STEP 1: Visithockeycanada.fasthockey.com and sign up for a free FASTHockey account.
STEP 2: Like the TELUS Cup on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teluscup.
STEP 3: Just prior to the game, click the TELUS Cup LIVE link on the TELUS Cup Facebook page to watch.
Please note that due to TSN scheduling, the start times for the bronze medal game and gold medal game have been moved up by 30 minutes. The bronze medal game will now begin at 10:30 a.m. MT, while the gold medal game will face off at 2:30 p.m. MT.
NOTE TO MEDIA: Jason LaRose, Hockey Canada’s coordinator of content services, will be on site in Leduc and can be reached at 403-703-8791 or firstname.lastname@example.org for any interview requests.