SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – After two exciting semifinals on Saturday, the gold medal game is set at the 2013 TELUS Cup.
The Red Deer Chiefs (Pacific) and Ottawa Jr. 67’s (Central) will meet for Canada’s 40th National Midget Championship on Sunday afternoon at the Essar Centre after posting victories in their respective semifinals. The Chiefs beat the Saskatoon Contacts (West) 5-1, the second year in a row Red Deer eliminated the Contacts in the semifinals, while the Jr. 67’s knocked off the Rousseau Royal de Laval-Montreal (Quebec), the top team in the preliminary round, 4-1.
Sunday’s gold medal game will be broadcast live on TSN at 3 p.m. ET/noon PT. Check your local listings for the broadcast time in your area.
The Chiefs, the defending national champions, are making their 10th appearance at the National Midget Championship and will play in the gold medal game for the fifth time, and second in as many years; 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 third team in eight years, and fourth in the 40-year history of the national championship, to win back-to-back gold medals.
The Jr. 67’s are just the second team from the nation’s capital to ever reach the gold medal game at Canada’s National Midget Championship; the East Ottawa Voyageurs lost 5-1 to the Couillard de Ste-Foy in the final in 1978. They are trying to become just the second Central Region team to win the gold medal, after the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves in 2008.
The game marks the first time since the start of the six-team format in 1984 that the Pacific Region champions and Central Region champions will meet for Canada’s National Midget Championship.
In the early semifinal, the Rebels got two goals and two assists from Chris Gerrie, and a goal and a helper each from Chase Thudium and Colton Bobyk to beat the Contacts. Jacob Schofield had the other goal for Red Deer, which scored the game’s first three goals and connected twice on the power play. Matt Zentner made 23 saves in the Chiefs’ goal.
In the late game, Ryan Kuffner and TELUS Cup MVP Matthew Hudson had a goal and an assist each to lead the offence and help the Jr. 67’s beat Laval-Montréal. Matt Foget and Peter Sigouin also scored and Elias Rizk chipped in with two assists for Ottawa, which became just the third fourth-place team to beat the No. 1 seed in the last 10 years. Simon Hofley, named Top Goaltender at Friday night’s awards banquet, finished with 32 saves.
The Chiefs and Jr. 67’s met Friday morning in the final preliminary round game for both. Hofley was the story, making 55 saves, and the Jr. 67’s got a third-period power play goal from Kuffner to salvage a 2-2 with Red Deer.
The Contacts and Rousseau Royal will meet for the bronze medal on Sunday morning (11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT). 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: 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.
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.