SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. – The Brooks Bandits and Summerside Western Capitals will meet for the 2013 RBC Cup, Canada’s 43rd National Junior A Championship, after posting semifinal wins in overtime on Saturday at CUP. The Bandits defeated the Minnesota Wilderness 5-4 in overtime, while the Western Capitals needed extra time to beat the Surrey Eagles 3-2.
Sunday’s championship game faces off at 7 p.m. AT/3 p.m. PT and can be seen on tape delay on TSN beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT. Check your local listings for broadcast times in your area.
With a win Sunday, the Western Capitals would be the first to win the national championship twice as the host team, doing so in 1997, the last time the city welcomed Canada’s top Junior A teams. They would also be the first team from the Maritime Hockey League to win the national championship since the Halifax Oland Exports in 2002. Summerside is the second consecutive MHL team to reach the final, following the Woodstock Slammers last year.
The Bandits, who are making their first appearance at the RBC Cup, are trying to become the second consecutive team ranked No. 1 in the end-of-season CJHL Top 20 to win the national title, after the Penticton Vees did it in 2012. Brooks is the first Alberta Junior Hockey League team to reach the final since the Camrose Kodiaks in 2008, and will look to be the first AJHL to win the RBC Cup since Camrose in 2001.
In Saturday’s early semifinal, Mark Reners scored 8:30 into overtime to lead the Bandits over the Wilderness, avoiding the second straight loss by the preliminary round’s top seed in the semifinals. Minnesota led 4-2 after two periods and 4-3 in the final minute of regulation time before Dakota Mason banked in a shot from behind the Wilderness net to force overtime. Reners finished with a pair of goals, as did RJ Reed, and both players added assists for three-point games.
In the late game, Chris Caissy’s goal at 17:57 of overtime led the Western Capitals into the championship game with a win over the Eagles in front of the largest crowd in RBC Cup history – 3,386. It’s the third time Summerside has advanced to the final with an overtime win in the semifinal, all coming in national championships it has hosted (1989, 1997, 2013). Caissy finished with three points, assisting on goals by JP Harvey and Danny Chiasson in regulation time, while Western Capitals netminder Kevin Bailie was spectacular, making 50 saves in the win.
The teams met Tuesday in preliminary round action – Harvey scored twice and Chiasson added a goal and an assist in a 3-1 Summerside win, the lone blemish on Brooks’ record entering Sunday’s championship game.
NOTE TO MEDIA: Keegan Goodrich, Hockey Canada’s coordinator of media relations, will be on site at the 2013 RBC Cup and will be the media contact for interviews, information or photos. He can be reached at 403-519-5754 or email@example.com.For more information on the 2013 RBC Cup, visit www.hockeycanada.ca/rbccup, or follow the tournament via social media at www.facebook.com/rbccup and www.twitter.com/hc_rbccup.