The Canadian Lacrosse Association and Alberta Lacrosse Association are excited to announce that the 2018 Minto Cup, Canada’s Junior A box lacrosse national championship, will be hosted in Calgary, Alberta, from August 16 to 26.
“We are excited to bring the historic Minto Cup back to Alberta,” said Joey Harris, president of the Canadian Lacrosse Association. “Fans throughout the province will be treated to some of the most competitive lacrosse our country has to offer. The young men taking the floor are tremendously talented, and together with the dedicated volunteers working behind the scenes, they will help create a memorable event for all who attend.”
This year will mark the first time since 2011 that the national championship will be hosted in Alberta.
“On behalf of the Alberta Lacrosse Association, I am very pleased to welcome the Minto Cup back to our province,” stated Rob Matsuoka, president of the Alberta Lacrosse Association. “This promises to be a wonderful 10 days of lacrosse and we look forward to putting on a first class championship showcasing our great game.”
Four of the best Junior A teams in the country will compete for the historic Minto Cup trophy, which was first awarded in 1901 and was officially designated as the Junior ‘A’ lacrosse championship of Canada in 1937.
The Alberta teams play in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League, which has teams in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and will receive two berths in the championship, to be filled by the provincial champion and runner-up. Meanwhile the challengers from the British Columbia Lacrosse Association, whose teams play in the British Columbia Junior ‘A’ Lacrosse League, and the Ontario Lacrosse Association, whose teams play in the Ontario Junior ‘A’ Lacrosse League, will each send their provincial champion.
This year’s event is being jointly organized by Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League rivals the Calgary Jr A Mountaineers and Okotoks Jr A Raiders.
“The Mountaineers and Raiders are fierce rivals on the floor, but we are partnering together off the floor to co-host the Minto Cup in Calgary this August,” said Duane Bratt, general manager of the Calgary Mountaineers and co-chair of the host committee. “This event is a showcase of junior lacrosse in Canada and we are committed to putting together an excellent championship on and off the floor.”
“We are honoured to be chosen to host this event,” added Kurt Gibson, general manager of the Okotoks Raiders and co-chair of the host committee. “Our goal is to be at the centre of showcasing the best junior teams in the country and growing the game throughout western Canada.”
Lacrosse has been on the rise in Alberta in recent years, with teams from that province competing and winning at all levels.
The St. Albert Miners captured two straight President’s Cup titles as Canada’s best Senior B team, while Alberta’s midget provincial team won the national championships crown this past year for the first time ever. Junior A teams from Alberta have also shown that they can compete on the national stage, as evident by the Mountaineers historic run at the 2016 Minto Cup, where they defeated a team from both Ontario and British Columbia in the same event for the first time in history.
The competitive gap is narrowing, which will help make the 2018 edition of the Minto Cup a competitive one.