THUNDER BAY – Sports – The 2012 Thunder Bay International Airport Authority Dudley Hewitt Cup is only a few short days away. The tournament kicks on on Tuesday. Day One action at the Dudley-Hewitt Cup begins Tuesday at the Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay and features the first two round robin games as Wisconsin takes on the Soo at 2PM. followed by the North Stars squaring off with the Spirit at 7:30PM.
The Stouffville Spirit captured the final Dudley-Hewitt berth Friday in dramatic fashion as they rallied late to claim the Buckland Cup, emblematic of Ontario Jr. Hockey League champions. Trailing the Whitby Fury 3-1 with less than a minute to go in regulation in game 6 of the OJHL finals, the Spirit struck twice with goaltender Jonathon Hall on the bench on favour of an extra attacker to force overtime, including the equalizer by Christian Powers with just 11 seconds remaining and then proceeded to win at 9:48 of the first extra session thanks to Brandon Gaudette’s game-winner.
The stunning victory allowed Stouffville to capture their first-ever OJHL championship and the remaining berth in the Dudley-Hewitt Cup.
They will be joined by the host Thunder Bay North Stars of the Superior International Junior Hockey League along with the SIJHL champion Wisconsin Wilderness and the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League title holders, the Soo Thunderbirds.
The host Thunder Bay North Stars and the Dudley Hewitt Cup committee have been working hard to make sure that this tournament is a major success. They also have kept people who might not be able to get out to games in their minds. On Friday afternoon, the North Stars and NetNewsledger assisted the Windsor/Picton/Blutcher Community Action Group (CAG) in sharing tickets to Tuesday night’s game. The CAG has been working in the neighbourhood to engage with the residents and help make the neighbourhood a better place.
Local residents who had filled out a Community Service that Katimavik volunteers had distributed in the neighbourhood received Dudley Hewitt Cup tickets. As well tickets were shared with Alpha Court, and the Boys and Girls Club.
In planning the tournament, the North Stars and the Dudley Hewitt Cup committee have thought through how to make sure that this tournament can benefit all of Thunder Bay. All the games are at the Fort William Gardens. The teams and officials are all staying at the Prince Arthur Hotel, which will benefit the downtown core district.
Here is the full schedule:
Soo Thunderbirds vs. Wisconsin Wilderness 2 p.m.
Stouffville Spirit vs. Thunder Bay North Stars 7:30 p.m.
Stouffville Spirit vs. Wisconsin Wilderness 2 p.m.
Thunder Bay North Stars vs. Soo Thunderbirds 7:30 p.m.
Soo Thunderbirds vs. Stouffville Spirit 2 p.m.
Wisconsin Wilderness vs. Thunder Bay North Stars 7:30 p.m.
Semifinal: 3rd round robin vs. 2nd round robin 7:30 p.m.
Final: Semifinal winner vs. 1st round robin 7:30 p.m.
The Dudley-Hewitt winner advances to Royal Bank Cup May 5-13 in Humboldt, Saskatchewan.
NetNewsledger will provide coverage of all North Stars games during the tournament. If you are unable to attend the afternoon games, you can enjoy them online on your computer. Visit www.sijhl.neulion.com.
For more information, and ordering your tickets for the Thunder Bay International Airport Authority Inc. Dudley Hewitt Cup, visit www.thedudleyhewittcup.com.