SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – For the 40th time, Canada’s top Midget teams have gathered, this year in Sault Ste. Marie, to do battle for the National Midget Championship, beginning Monday, April 22. The 2013 tournament marks second time in 10 years Sault Ste. Marie has hosted the TELUS Cup, and the 12th time in Ontario since the inaugural Wrigley Cup in Oshawa, Ont., in 1974.
The host Sault Ste. Marie North Stars are joined by five regional champions: the Rousseau Royal de Laval-Montréal (Quebec), Ottawa Jr. 67’s (Central), Red Deer Chiefs (Pacific), Saskatoon Contacts (West) and Valley Wildcats (Atlantic). The six competing teams will take to the ice at the Essar Centre hoping to earn one of the two berths in Sunday’s nationally-televised gold medal game.
This year’s field includes two teams that have won the National Midget Championship in the last decade – Saskatoon (2005) and Red Deer (2012) – and the Chiefs are looking to become the third team in the last eight years to defend its gold medal. While Valley and Ottawa are making their first TELUS Cup appearances, the other four teams all have national championship experience – Red Deer is making its 10th trip, Sault Ste. Marie is in for the sixth time, Saskatoon is making visit No. 5 and Laval-Montréal’s appearance is its second.
“Just as it has been for the six teams who will compete next week, it has been a long road for the host committee to get to this point and we’re thrilled to finally drop the puck on Monday,” said George Parsons, co-chair of the 2013 TELUS Cup host committee. “Some of the future stars of the game will be on display in Sault Ste. Marie, and we’re looking forward to celebrating the 40th anniversary of Canada’s National Midget Championship with an event to remember.”
The gold medal game will be held April 28 at 3 p.m. ET/noon PT and will be shown on TSN/RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcasters (check your local listings). All preliminary round games, semifinals and the bronze medal game can be seen live via webcast through FASTHockey at hockeycanada.fasthockey.com. Fans can watch all the action for free by following three steps:
STEP 1: Visit hockeycanada.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.
Athletes at the 2013 TELUS Cup will be competing not only for a national championship, but also to raise funds for local minor hockey. Every year, TELUS invests millions of dollars to support Canadian athletes throughout Ontario and across the country – from the elite athletes competing for Canada on the world stage, to the grassroots programs that help children get actively involved in sport. Over the course of the 19-game tournament, TELUS will donate $40 for every goal scored, up to $5,000, to the Sault Major Hockey Association. This program will encourage teams to give it their all while giving back to the community.
A number of future NHLers have taken part in the National Midget Championship since its inception in 1974, including 53 first-round draft picks, three No. 1 selections (Gord Kluzak, Wendel Clark and Sidney Crosby) and nine future Hockey Hall of Fame inductees (Glenn Anderson, Ron Francis, Mike Gartner, Al MacInnis, Larry Murphy, Patrick Roy, Joe Sakic, Denis Savard and Steve Yzerman).
NOTE TO MEDIA: Jason LaRose, Hockey Canada’s coordinator of content services, will be on site in Sault Ste. Marie and can be reached at 403-703-8791 or firstname.lastname@example.org for any interview requests.