SAULT STE MARIE, ON - Sault Ste Marie, ON, has been awarded the 2003 Air Canada Cup, Canada's National
Midget Hockey Championship, the Canadian Hockey Association on Tuesday.
The 2003 Championship which will be held April 21-27, will mark the 25th year of existence for the
National Midget Hockey Championship. Since 1984, it has adopted a regional format with six teams taking part,
a host team and five regional champions (Atlantic, Quebec, Central, West, Pacific)
The National Midget Hockey Championship has been held in Ontario on five previous occasions. The event was
held in Sudbury (1998), Kitchener (1993), Thunder Bay (1988), Gloucester (1987) and in North Bay (1984).
Sault Ste Marie has represented the Central region at three Air Canada Cups, 1998 in Prince Albert, SK, 1993
in Kitchener, ON and 1980 in Cornwall, ON when current NHL star Ron Francis was a member of the Sault Ste
Other current and former NHL stars who have taken part in this annual event over the years include Rod
Brind'Amour (1986-87), Wendel Clark (1982), Ron Francis (1980), Ron Hextall, (1980), Simon Gagné (1997), Olaf
Kolzig (1987), Al MacInnis (1979), Larry Murphy (1977), Mike Peca (1990), Brad Stuart (1997) and Steve
"The Ontario Hockey Federation is very pleased to be the host Branch of the 2003 Air Canada Cup National
Midget Championship", said Ed Pupich, OHF President. "We are very aware from past experience, that the host
community of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario of the Northern Ontario Hockey Association will be extremely
supportive of this championship. The "SOO" is a hockey town and with the support of their minor hockey
associations, we are confident that the host committee will ensure a great hockey experience for all who
"On behalf of the Host Committee it is an honor for us to have been chosen as hosts of this prestigious
event," said Harry Lewis, Chair of the 2003 Sault Ste. Marie Host Committee. "The people of Sault Ste. Marie
have shown in the past to be great supporters of Minor Hockey and we expect this event to be a highlight in
the community". "We will ensure that all visitors to Sault Ste. Marie have a memorable time while here at the
2003 Air Canada Cup".
The tournament opens with a round-robin round with the top four teams qualifying for the playoff round.
The round-robin is followed by two crossover games (first against fourth, second against third) and the
Bronze and Gold medal games on the final day.
Air Canada has supported the Canadian Hockey Association and hockey in Canada for over 20 years and have
also been the title sponsor for Canada's National Midget Hockey Championship for 23 years.