CALGARY, Alta. – For the 14th time, Canada’s National Midget Championship will be played and won in Ontario, as Thunder Bay has been named host for the 46th edition of the tournament, April 22-29, 2019, at the Fort William Gardens.
Hockey Canada, in partnership with Hockey Northwestern Ontario (HNO) made the announcement Thursday in Thunder Bay.
On the heels of Sudbury, Ont., hosting the 2018 TELUS Cup 20 years after first welcoming the tournament, Thunder Bay is hosting the prestigious event for the first time since 1988, joining Oshawa (1974, 1975); Cornwall (1980); North Bay (1984); Gloucester (1987); Kitchener (1993); Sault Ste. Marie (2003, 2013); Kenora (2004); and Arnprior (2008) as Ontario host-cities.
“This will be a great opportunity for the players, coaches, officials, and the volunteers in this region to take part in a national championship,” said Trevor Hosanna, executive director, HNO. “We look forward to working with Hockey Canada to provide support for the Thunder Bay Kings and their host committee to make the 2019 TELUS Cup a successful event.”
The two-time TELUS Cup champion Thunder Bay Kings (1995 and 1997) of the NAPHL will be joined by five regional winners (Atlantic, Central, Pacific, Quebec, and West) to compete for the national title.
“We are excited to be bringing Canada’s National Midget Championship to Thunder Bay for the first time since 1988 when it was known as the Air Canada Cup,” said Gary Linquist, president, Thunder Bay Kings. “On behalf of the executive of the Thunder Bay Kings AAA Hockey Association, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to Hockey Canada for the tremendous privilege and responsibility of hosting the 2019 TELUS Cup. The Kings association is beyond excited to be invited to play an integral role in this event, as these types of opportunities are a fantastic way to showcase the great community of Thunder Bay on a national stage.”
“This national championship will further establish Thunder Bay’s reputation as one of Canada’s top hockey towns, building on the success of our own local hockey players like Matt Murray, Patrick Sharp, and the famed Staal brothers,” said Mayor Keith Hobbs, who also noted all the Stanley Cup winners came up through the Kings’ program.
Schedule and ticket information for the 2019 TELUS Cup will be announced at a later date.
A number of future NHLers have taken part in Canada’s National Midget Championship since its inception in 1974, including 53 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).