THUNDER BAY – It’s just four weeks away until the Thunder Bay Kings, in conjunction with Hockey Canada, Hockey Northwestern Ontario and the Thunder Bay Minor Hockey Association, hosts the 2019 TELUS Cup Canadian National Midget Hockey Championship, April 22-28, at the Fort William Gardens.
With that, the host Thunder Bay major midget Kings are busily preparing for their next step along the TELUS Cup Trail as they gear up for next week’s West Regional, which runs April 4-7, in Tisdale, Sask.
Joining the host Tisdale Trojans (SAAAMHL) and the HNO champion Kings will be the winners of Manitoba and Saskatchewan AAA Midget Hockey Leagues with a berth on the line to join the Kings at the TELUS Cup in the Lakehead.
The MMHL final sees the Brandon Wheat Kings up 2-1 on the Winnipeg Wild in that best-of-five affair with Brandon looking to punch their ticket to Tisdale Wednesday on home ice in Game 4.
Meanwhile the SAAAMHL title series sees that best-of-five match-up knotted at 1-1 after the defending regional and TELUS Cup title holders, the Notre Dame Hounds edged the Saskatoon Blazer 3-2 in a double overtime thriller Monday evening in Wilcox, Sask. Game 3 also goes Wednesday, in Saskatoon.
The West Regional winner will earn a berth to the TELUS Cup in Thunder Bay.
Should the TELUS Cup-host Kings prevail at the regional, then the event finalist would also earn a berth to the nationals in the Lakehead.
TELUS Cup ticket packages for the seven-day event are moving well across the city and northwestern Ontario and remain on sale at HockeyCanada.ca/tickets.
This will mark the first time in 31 years that Thunder Bay will host the national midget hockey championship.
In four appearances at the nationals over the years, Kings’ teams have medaled on each occasion, winning gold in 1995 and 1997 while mining silver in 1992 and 1996.
Two other clubs from the city, in the 1983 Andrews and 1988 Bearcats both captured bronze medals at the then Air Canada Cup.
THUNDER BAY KINGS TELUS CUP TRAIL
HNO AAA Midget District Championship
Thunder Bay major midget Kings vs. Kenora Thistles
Kings win best-of-five series 3-0
Game 1: Thunder Bay 5 Kenora 4 (OT)
Game 2: Thunder Bay 4 Kenora 1
Game 3: Thunder Bay 3 Kenora 1
Manitoba Midget Hockey League championship series
Winnipeg Wild vs. Brandon Wheat Kings
Brandon leads best-of-five series 2-1
Game 1: Winnipeg 6 Brandon 3
Game 2: Brandon 3 Winnipeg 2
Game 3: Brandon 5 Winnipeg 2
Game 4: Wednesday, March 27 @ Brandon 8:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Friday, March 29 @ Winnipeg 8 p.m.
* – if necessary
Saskatchewan AAA Midget Hockey League
Saskatoon Blazers vs. Notre Dame Hounds
Best-of-five series tied 1-1
Game 1: Saskatoon 3 Notre Dame 0
Game 2: Notre Dame 3 Saskatoon 2 (2OT)
Game 3: Wednesday, March @ Saskatoon 9:30 p.m.
Game 4: Friday, March 29 @ Notre Dame 9:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Sunday, March 31 @ Saskatoon 9:30 p.m.
* – if necessary
TELUS Cup West Regional
Tisdale Trojans (Host) (SAAAMHL)
Hockey Northwestern Ontario champion: Thunder Bay Kings
Manitoba Midget Hockey League champion: Winnipeg Wild or Brandon Wheat Kings
Saskatchewan AAA Midget Hockey League champion: Saskatoon Blazers or Notre Dame Hounds
Thursday, April 4
Game 1: Saskatoon or Notre Dame vs. Winnipeg or Brandon 6 p.m.
Game 2: Tisdale vs. Thunder Bay 9:30 p.m.
Friday, April 5
Game 3: Thunder Bay vs. Winnipeg or Brandon 6 p.m.
Game 4: Saskatoon or Notre Dame vs. Tisdale 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 6
Game 5: Thunder Bay vs. Saskatoon or Notre Dame 2 p.m.
Game 6: Tisdale vs. Winnipeg or Brandon 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 7
Final: 2nd round robin vs. 1st round robin 4 p.m.
TELUS Cup Canadian National Midget Hockey Championship
Thunder Bay, Ont.
All games at the Fort William Gardens
Monday, April 22
Central vs. Atlantic 12 p.m.
Quebec vs. West 4 p.m.
Thunder Bay Kings vs. Pacific 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 23
Quebec vs. Atlantic 12 p.m.
Central vs. Pacific 4 p.m.
West vs. Thunder Bay Kings 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, April 24
Pacific vs. Quebec 12 p.m.
Atlantic vs. West 4 p.m.
Thunder Bay Kings vs. Central 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 25
West vs. Pacific 12 p.m.
Central vs. Quebec 4 p.m.
Atlantic vs. Thunder Bay Kings 7:30 p.m.
Friday, April 26
Central vs. West 11 a.m.
Atlantic vs. Pacific 3 p.m.
Thunder Bay Kings vs. Quebec 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 27
Semifinal No. 1: 2 p.m.
Semifinal No. 2: 6 p.m.
Sunday, April 28
Bronze medal game: 1 p.m.
Gold/Silver medal game: 6:30 p.m.
All start times ET