For Immediate Release - June 3, 2014
QUISPAMSIS – New Brunswick will play host to a Hockey Canada championship for the first time in 14 years when the nation’s best major midget hockey players come to the qplex.
Hockey Canada has awarded the 2016 TELUS Cup national midget championship to Quispamsis. The Saint John Vito’s will be the host club for the six-team event that will be played from April 18-24, 2016. The gold-medal game will be televised live in both official languages on TSN and RDS.
“We are excited about the opportunity to compete on the national stage,” said Vito’s head coach Ken Dobson. “This will help with our recruitment as we take our program to the next level.”
This year, the Vito’s won their first provincial championship since 1998, beating Moncton in double-overtime in Game 7. They attracted home crowds in excess of 1200 people during their playoff run.
“Their success has proven there’s a strong interest in major midget hockey in our community,” said Aaron Kennedy, chair of the TELUS Cup organizing committee. “We believe folks will be excited to watch the Vito’s compete for a national championship.”
The bid document was submitted at the end of January and the final decision was made at Hockey Canada’s annual general meeting on Saturday in Calgary. It was a collaborative effort among the Vito’s, the Town of Quispamsis, Discover Saint John and a local committee of volunteers.
“This will be a tremendous event for our region,” said Ross Jefferson, executive director of Discover Saint John. “The games will be played in Quispamsis while the teams, officials, scouts, Hockey Canada staff and fans will stay in Saint John. That provides a direct economic impact for our city.”
A call for volunteers and information on ticket prices and packages will follow.
The qplex has played host to a number of provincial and regional hockey tournaments, including the Irving Oil Challenge Cup and the New Brunswick AAA boys’ and girls’ high school championships.
This will be the third time the national midget championship will be played in New Brunswick. It was held in Moncton in 1986 and in Bathurst in 2002.
Many future NHLers have played in the tournament, including Sidney Crosby, Steve Yzerman, Simon Gagne, and New Brunswickers Don Sweeney, Randy Jones, Scott Fraser and Scott Pellerin.
“The TELUS Cup is a big event and we’re thrilled it will be played at the qplex,” said Quispamsis Mayor Murray Driscoll.
Aaron Kennedy 506-647-6243