The six teams are decided and booked for their trip to Red Deer, all that is left is for the first puck to drop at the 2007 TELUS Cup, the National Midget Championship. On April 29th, one of these teams will be crowned 2007 TELUS Cup champions.
HOST – RED DEER OPTIMIST REBELS
The Optimist Rebels were determined to earn their spot at the TELUS Cup, and they did just that, rolling through the Alberta playoffs after winning the AMHL’s regular season crown. Following a first-round bye, the Optimist Rebels took care of the Calgary Flames in four games and the UFA Bisons in three straight before sweeping the Schwab GM Oil Kings for their first AMHL championship since 2004. The five other teams at the 2007 TELUS Cup will be in tough against the hosts – the Optimist Rebels have yet to lose a game on home ice this season.
PREVIOUS APPEARANCES – 6
1979, 1994 (Silver), 1995 (Silver), 1996, 2002, 2004 (Bronze)
PACIFIC – VANCOUVER NORTHWEST GIANTS
The Giants became the first B.C. team since the 1992 North Kamloops Lions to qualify for the National Midget Championship, and hope to become the first West Coast team since the 1996 version of the Lions to win a medal. Unbeaten in 13 games entering the playoffs – they won 12 and tied one down the stretch – sweeps of the Okanagan Rockets and Cariboo Cougars allowed the Giants to win their first BCMMHL championship, and qualify as the Pacific reps after the host Red Deer Optimist Rebels won the Alberta championship.
PREVIOUS APPEARANCES – 0
This is their first appearance at the National Midget Championship
WESTERN – PRINCE ALBERT MINTOS
With their 4-3 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings in the Western Regional championship game, the Mintos earned the right to try to do what no team has done in the 28-year history of the National Midget Championship: defend their national title. The 2006 TELUS Cup champs defended their SMAAAHL regular season and playoff championships – knocking off the Yorkton Harvest in four games, Saskatoon Blazers in four and Notre Dame Hounds in five – before going undefeated at the Western Regional to qualify for the TELUS Cup. The Mintos will look to repeat their run of 2006, where they went 7-0 in Charlottetown, PE on their way to the championship.
PREVIOUS APPEARANCES – 2
1999, 2006 (Gold)
CENTRAL – SAULT STE. MARIE NORTH STARS
The class of the Great North Midget League throughout the regular season – 32-2-1-1, 217 goals for, 79 goals against – the North Stars ran roughshod over the competition in the playoffs, winning all nine games in sweeps of the New Liskeard Cubs, North Bay Trappers and Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves. Although they struggled in the round robin at the Central Regional, finishing with a .500 record through six games, they scored a huge win over the previously unbeaten London Jr. Knights in the semi-final before pulling out a 3-2 double overtime win in the championship game.
PREVIOUS APPEARANCES – 4
1980, 1993 (Bronze), 1999, 2003
QUEBEC – SÉMINAIRE SAINT-FRANÇOIS BLIZZARD
One of the country’s most dominant Midget teams while centered out of Ste-Foy, the Blizzard will play for the TELUS Cup after running rampant through the Quebec Midget AAA Hockey League playoffs. The QMAAAHL’s regular season champions – the Blizzard went 35-6-0-3 – swept Jonquière and Trois-Rivières, took care of Notre-Dame in six games and rolled over Lac St-Louis in five games, outscoring the Lions 33-12 on their way to their first league championship. Quebec teams have won medals at 16 of the last 17 National Midget Championships, including five titles, a streak the Blizzard hope to continue in Red Deer.
PREVIOUS APPEARANCES – 12
1979 (Gold), 1980 (Silver), 1982 (Silver), 1983 (Silver), 1986 (Bronze), 1989, 1990 (Silver), 1993 (Silver), 1995 (Bronze), 1996 (Gold), 1999 (Bronze), 2001 (Gold)
ATLANTIC – ST. JOHN’S MAPLE LEAFS
The Maple Leafs enter the TELUS Cup riding a mind-boggling 32-game unbeaten streak in league and playoff action. After finishing the regular season with a 29-1 record, including the final 21 wins in a row, the Maple Leafs rolled over the Central IcePak and Tri-Pen Frost in the playoffs and, after two wins and two ties in the round robin at the Atlantic Regional, topped the Dartmouth Subways 3-2 to earn their second consecutive trip to the TELUS Cup. The Maple Leafs finished fourth in 2006, and will be primed for a podium finish in Red Deer.
PREVIOUS APPEARANCES – 3
2000, 2003 (Bronze), 2006
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