SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The Red Deer Chiefs (Pacific) have won the 2013 TELUS Cup, claiming Canada’s 40th National Midget Championship with a 5-0 win over the Ottawa Jr. 67’s (Central) in Sunday night’s gold medal game at the Essar Centre.
The victory makes the Chiefs just the fourth team in the history of Canada’s National Midget Championship to win back-to-back gold medals, joining the Couillard/Gouverneurs de Ste-Foy (1978, 1979), Prince Albert Mintos (2006, 2007) and Notre Dame Hounds (2009 and 2010).
Red Deer got goals from five different players and 27 saves from goaltender Matt Zentner in winning the gold medal game with the largest margin of victory since Magog beat Montréal-Bourassa 6-0 in the final of the 2000 tournament in Montreal, Que.
Chase Thudium opened the scoring on a Red Deer power play late in the first period, poking the puck past Ottawa netminder Simon Hofley, and Trey Degraaf and Ryker Leer scored 67 seconds apart early in the second period for a three-goal advantage.
Chris Gerrie’s third goal in two games made it 4-0 after two periods and Ian McLellan rounded out the scoring with 6:21 to go, providing more than enough offence for Zentner, who posted only the third gold medal game shutout in national championship history.
It was the fifth gold medal game appearance for the Chiefs, who improved to 2-3 in the final. In addition to last year’s double-overtime win over the Phénix du Collège Esther-Blondin, Red Deer lost in double overtime to Regina in 1994 and Prince Albert in 2007, and suffered a one-goal defeat to Thunder Bay in 1995.
In Sunday morning’s bronze medal game, the Rousseau Royal de Laval-Montréal (Quebec) topped the Saskatoon Contacts (West) 3-2 to take third place. Julien Nantel scored the game-winning goal with 6:18 on the clock and Joël Giguère had a goal and an assist to help the Rousseau Royal win the bronze medal for the second time in five years.
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Canada’s National Midget Championship, TELUS has given $40 for each goal scored during the TELUS Cup to the Sault Major Hockey Association. With 129 goals scored, this amounts to a gift of $5,160, which TELUS has generously raised to a total of $10,000.
“As a long-time friend of Hockey Canada, we are thrilled again to be a part of the TELUS Cup, the pinnacle of minor hockey in the nation,” said Nicholas Cartmell, TELUS’ director of strategic initiatives. “Because hockey matters to our customers and our customers matter to us, we’ve committed to the ongoing development and future success of young athletes across Canada. Our support here will amplify this development and leave a lasting legacy for the Sault community.”
The 2014 TELUS Cup will be held in April 2014 in Moose Jaw, Sask., with the Moose Jaw Generals of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League serving as the host team.