QUISPAMSIS, N.B. – For the first time ever, the North York Rangers are the top Midget team in the country, beating the host Saint John Vito’s 4-1 in the gold-medal game Sunday night to win the 2016 TELUS Cup, Canada’s 43rd National Midget Championship.
The Rangers became the third Central Region champion to win the national title, joining the 2008 Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves and 2015 Toronto Young Nationals, while the Vito’s matched the 2002 Dartmouth Subways – who were led by a 14-year-old Sidney Crosby – for the best finish by an Atlantic team in tournament history.
“We've been doing this since day one, going through the GTHL playoffs with a good work ethic,” said North York captain William Calverley (Scarborough, Ont.). “It was a tough road, but it was worth it and I am extremely proud of our team.”
Aidan Casey (Toronto) scored twice for the Rangers, opening the scoring in the first period and providing insurance late in the third, and Liam Gillanders (Toronto) and James Turner (Toronto) had a goal and an assist apiece. Will Kelly (Quispamsis, N.B.) scored the lone goal for Saint John.
In the bronze-medal game earlier Sunday, Bailey Bilney-Morrissette (Dorval, Que.) had a goal and two assists in a five-goal second period to help the Lions du Lac St-Louis to a 6-2 win over the Lloydminster Bobcats. It’s the eighth medal in as many appearances at the national championship for the Lions, and the fourth bronze medal.
In all, more than 20,000 fans watched TELUS Cup games at the qplex through the week, including a standing-room only crowd for the nationally-televised gold-medal game.
“What an outstanding week in Quispamsis,” said Aaron Kennedy, chair of the 2016 TELUS Cup host organizing committee. “This event has been tremendous for our town, and we cannot say enough good things about the volunteers who helped make the TELUS Cup happen. A huge thank you to our host committee, the volunteers, Hockey New Brunswick, and Hockey Canada for helping welcome the country’s best this week.”
Dreams Come True
Earlier Sunday morning, the Hockey Canada Foundation, in partnership with Hockey New Brunswick and P.R.O. Kids, held a Dreams Come True event at the qplex for36 kids from 5 to 12 years old. They distributed new hockey equipment and provided a 90-minute on-ice skills session before inviting the young players to the bronze-medal game. All registration fees for the 2016-17 hockey season for the 36 players will be covered for participants as part of Dreams Come True.
The 2017 TELUS Cup will be held April 24-30, 2017 in Prince George, B.C., with the Cariboo Cougars of the B.C. Major Midget League serving as the host team.
For more information on the TELUS Cup, visit HockeyCanada.ca/TELUSCup, or follow the tournament via social media on Facebook and Twitter.