The Gaulois de Saint-Hyacinthe will hit the ice for the 2019-20 season with a guaranteed shot at becoming national Midget champions, having been selected to host the 2020 TELUS Cup when it makes its return to the province of Quebec for the first time since Rivière-du-Loup hosted in 2015.
This won’t be entirely new territory for the Midget AAA hockey club, having earned appearances to the 2003 and 2010 editions of Canada’s National Midget Championship, finishing second and fourth in those respective years. The team, which was renamed in the summer of 2017 from its previous incarnation as the Gaulois du Collège Antoine-Girouard, will act as host for the first time.
With its first champion crowned in 1974, the tournament was reformatted in 1984 to bring six teams together representing the Pacific, West, Central, Quebec, and Atlantic regions, plus a host team. Only three host teams have ever been crowned national champions, and since 1984, teams from the Quebec Region have won gold seven times, and skated away with nine silver medals and 15 bronze medals.
“Hockey Quebec is proud to host the most important national Midget competition in Saint-Hyacinthe,” said Paul Ménard, executive director of Hockey Quebec. “With the infrastructure and the organizing committee in place, we already know that the 2020 TELUS Cup will be a great success. Our hockey players will once again be able to demonstrate their great talent on the ice, under the watchful eye of the Quebecers and Canadians present.”
The 2020 TELUS Cup will be presented in partnership with Hockey Canada, Hockey Quebec, and the Gaulois de Saint-Hyacinthe, as well as the volunteer host organizing committee led by chair Jean Bédard.
“It is with great honour and pride that I welcome this great news today, on behalf of the Gaulois de Saint-Hyacinthe, of course, but also of the entire Maskoutain community and of the dozens of volunteers already involved in the organizing committee. As chairman of the Board of Directors of the Gaulois de Saint-Hyacinthe for more than 10 years, I have been committed to the development of our youth. Saint-Hyacinthe is a vibrant, active community, full of volunteers, businesses, and individuals who are highly capable of organizing the event, and I look forward to working with them,” Bédard said.
As with all of Hockey Canada’s national championships, the net proceeds from all ticket sales at the event will stay within the community of Saint-Hyacinthe as a legacy to help grow the game locally. The economic impact on the host communities of recent editions of the TELUS Cup has neared $2 million over the seven-day event.
“We are very proud to welcome the best Midget AAA hockey teams,” said Claude Corbeil, Mayor of Saint-Hyacinthe. “All resources of the Maskoutain community are ready to make the TELUS Cup a success. The legendary hospitality of the Maskoutains is waiting to be discovered and we will live up to its reputation. Thank you to Hockey Canada and Hockey Quebec for your confidence in our beautiful region. We are ready for this great journey in April 2020.”
“It is a great honour to be associated with the Maskoutain team, and Saint-Hyacinthe as the host city for the 2020 TELUS Cup, and I am very pleased with today’s announcement,” said Bruno Gervais, a former Gaulois, retired NHL player and current sports commentator. “In my journey, I have experienced some great things at the Midget AAA level, including sportsmanship, discipline and team spirit.”