With only 19 days to go, there are still 12 teams in the running to be part of the 2002 Royal Bank Cup, to be held in Halifax from May 4 -12 featuring the Halifax Oland Exports as the Host Team.
In early May, Halifax Nova Scotia will once again be centre stage as the host site of a major hockey championship. Following the 2000 Memorial Cup and the upcoming 2003 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in December-January and the 2004 IIHF Women's World Hockey Championship, Halifax will be the focal point for the declaration of the 2002 national Junior "A" champion.
The Royal Bank Cup is a 5 team, 13 game tournament over a 9 day period with all games at The Halifax Forum.
Teams from across the country will compete for these national honours. Team Pacific will be represented by either the Chilliwack Chiefs, BCHL champions or the Drayton Valley Thunder, the AJHL champs. Team West will be the winner of the SJHL League, Kindersley Klippers and the OCN Blizzard from The Pas, Manitoba as ManJHL champs. Team Central, representing Ontario will be the winner of the Soo Thunderbirds and Rayside Belfour Sabrecats vs the Dryden Ice Dogs in the Dudley Hewitt Cup and Team East will be the winner of the Fred Page Cup. These four regional champions will be tested by the Halifax Oland Exports, as the Host Team. The Oland Exports are currently involved in the Maritime Junior A League championship with the Campbellton (NB) Tigers.
One of the defining characteristics of the Royal Bank Cup is the long and celebrated list of current NHL stars who have graduated from this championship to illustrious professional careers. Canadian Gold Medal Olympians Paul Kariya, Curtis Joseph and Ed Belfour are 3 of a list that includes, James Patrick (Buffalo Sabres), Dany Heatley (Atlanta Thrashers), Scott Gomez (NJ Devils), Rod Brind'Amour (Carolina Hurricanes), Scott Pellerin (Dallas Stars), Mike Comrie (Edmonton Oilers) and many, many more.
Page 2 The Road to the Royal Bank Cup
As further evidence of the extremely high level of skill and talent at this championship, the NHL Central Scouting Bureau has identified 3 members of the Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL) as candidates to be drafted in the NHL draft this June.
In addition, the Canadian Hockey Association has recently named 3 former Royal Bank Cup stars to be members of Team Canada at this year's World Hockey Championship in Sweden April 27 - May 11. NHL stars Dany Heatley, a likely candidate to be the NHL Rookie of the Year, Greg Johnson (Atlanta Thrashers) and James Patrick (Buffalo Sabres) were chosen to be in the first group of 9 players on Team Canada.
More information about the role of Junior "A" play downs came be found at www.cjahl.com Visit www.royalbankcup.com for information about the championship.
VIP Tournament Ticket Packages are available by calling 902-451-1221 or by visiting www.royalbankcup.com. Prices range from $135 for Minor Hockey, $140 for Students/Seniors and $175 for Adults. Accommodation at the Official Host Hotel, the Citadel Halifax Hotel, can be arranged by calling 1-800-565-7162.