THUNDER BAY – Sports – The excitement is starting to build! The Dudley Hewitt Cup will be held in Thunder Bay from April 17th to 21st. The Cup is awarded to the champions of the Central Canada Division of Junior A hockey and is named after George Dudley and W.A. Hewitt, two pioneers of amateur hockey in Ontario. The tournament is comprised of the winners of the Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL), the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL) and the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL), together with the host team. The winner of the “Dudley” goes on to compete in the National Junior A Championship known as the Royal Bank Cup.
The Thunder Bay North Stars, and the 2012 Dudley Hewitt Cup Tournament Committee are proud to dedicate this year’s tournament to the memory of Gary Cook, a hockey legend in his own right.
“Cookie”, as he was affectionately known, was the General Manager of the North Stars when the Dudley was last held in Thunder Bay back in 2006. He had a long and illustrious involvement with hockey, both locally and in the United States. Cookie started with the Port Arthur North Stars in the 1950’s and continued his involvement with hockey throughout the years. He celebrated many championships, awards and achievements. After 50 years in the game, he ended his career with the Fort William North Stars winning the Dudley and going on to play in the Royal Bank Cup. It is in honour and memory of Cookie’s commitment to the development of young hockey talent in Northwestern Ontario that the slogan for this year’s tournament has been selected: “Developing Players, Creating Champions.”
There will be a special dinner honouring Gary Cook. Comedian Kris Labelle, North Stars announcer Karen Matson, Ice Edge Holdings exec Anthony Leblanc, Mayor Keith Hobbs, Hockey Journalist Ross Brewitt, LU Sports Director Tom Warden and others will be speaking at this event scheduled for Thursday March 29th at the Italian Hall. For more information on the dinner, and you better hurry as tickets are selling fast, visit www.thedudleyhewittcup.com.
Speaking at a press conference at Gargoyles in the Downtown Port Arthur core, Thunder Bay North Star’s team President David Dubinsky outlined how the planning of the event could not have been done without the help of the event sponsors. The Thunder Bay International Airport Authority has come on board as a major sponsor of the event. RBC is also one of the major supporters of the event as well as Freedom 55 Financial.
All of the teams coming to Thunder Bay will be staying at the Prince Arthur Hotel. Dubinsky noted how by doing that it is hoped that the tournament will bring a positive boost to the restaurants, and clubs in the downtown core.
The Fort William Gardens will be home to all of the hockey action. Tickets are on sale now. The Dudley Hewitt Cup is offering special flex-pack tickets. Package includes 6 flex tickets which can be used for any round robin games, you could go to six games, or take yourself and five friends to a game. PLUS tickets to the semi-final and final games. Ticket Prices: Adults $65.00 Seniors/Students $35.00 Kids (3-12) $20.00.
The Dudley Hewitt Cup has received a great deal of community support already. However, if your company would like to get involved and help by sponsoring the event, you can still do so. You can contact Tournament Co-Chair, Dave Vaillant at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 807-627-7646; or contact Tournament Co-Chair, Rob Monty at email@example.com or call him at 807-472-1568.
The Thunder Bay North Stars are hosting the Dudley Hewitt Cup this year. The team swept the Duluth Clydedales in four straight games in the opening round of the playoffs. The team is now awaiting their new opponent.
Photograph courtesy of James Mirabelli.