New Brunswick welcomes Canada’s National Midget Championship for fourth time
QUISPAMSIS, N.B. – The 2016 TELUS Cup officially kicks off in Quispamsis, N.B., welcoming the nation’s six best Midget teams for Canada’s 43rd National Midget Championship, April 18-24.
The host and Atlantic Region champions, the Saint John Vito’s of the New Brunswick/Prince Edward Island Major Midget Hockey League, will be joined by five regional representatives – Central (North York Rangers), Pacific (Lloydminster Bobcats), Quebec (Lions du Lac St-Louis), West (Saskatoon Contacts), and Atlantic (Dartmouth Major Midgets) – going for gold at the 1,140-seat qplex.
“Our town and province are excited to finally drop the puck on this event, which we have been preparing for for months,” said Aaron Kennedy, chair of the 2016 TELUS Cup host organizing committee. “Quispamsis is proud to host a Hockey Canada event and be able to showcase the best of our community. We’re looking forward to a great event, which we couldn’t make happen without the commitment of our volunteers.”
Quispamsis is the third New Brunswick city to host the national championship, joining Moncton (1977, 1986) and Bathurst (2002). The qplex is located on Randy Jones Way, named in honour of Vito’s assistant coach and Quispamsis native Randy Jones, who played 365 NHL games with Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Tampa Bay, and Winnipeg.
The 2016 TELUS Cup represents a partnership between the local host committee, Hockey Canada, and Hockey New Brunswick. The tournament begins with the West Region champion Saskatoon Contacts taking on the Central Region champion North York Rangers at noon AT/11 a.m. ET, while the host Vito’s will make their championship debut against the Atlantic Region representative, the Dartmouth Major Midgets at 7:30 p.m. AT/6:30 p.m. ET.
Saint John teams have previously competed at Canada’s National Midget Championship in 1998 (Saint John Flames), and 1981 and 1983 with the Saint John Pepsi. The city will be looking for its first medal at this event.
A limited number of single-game tickets are available at the qplex box office for the 2016 TELUS Cup.
The gold-medal game will be held Sunday, April 24, at 5 p.m. AT/4 p.m. ET and will air on TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcasters (check your local listings). All preliminary-round games and the bronze-medal game can be seen live via FASTHockey webcast at HockeyCanada.ca/TELUSCup.
A number of future NHLers have taken part in Canada’s National Midget Championship since its inception in 1974, including 63 first-round draft picks, three No. 1 selections (Gord Kluzak, Wendel Clark, and Sidney Crosby), and eight future Hockey Hall of Fame inductees (Glenn Anderson, Ron Francis, Mike Gartner, Al MacInnis, Larry Murphy, Patrick Roy, Joe Sakic, and Steve Yzerman).