THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – Eight months of hard work come together today at Fort William Gardens. The Dudley Hewitt Cup kicks off this afternoon at Fort William Gardens. Tonight the Thunder Bay North Stars take to the ice in their opening game of the tournament. It is now time to cheer at the Dudley Hewitt Cup, brought to you by the Thunder Bay International Airport Authority Inc.
The four-team event features a six-game round robin between the Superior International Jr. Hockey League champion Wisconsin Wilderness, the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League winning Soo Thunderbirds, the Ontario Jr. Hockey League title holder Stouffville Spirit and the host Thunder Bay North Stars of the SIJHL.
Game action gets underway Tuesday as Wisconsin meets Sault Ste. Marie at 2PM followed by Thunder Bay and Stouffville at 7:30PM. Tickets are still available at the Fort William Gardens Box Office.
You might also want to enjoy your ‘Dudley Action’ from ‘Dudley’s Den’ in the Fort William Curling Club. You will have a chance to win $1000 nightly. Call 333-STAR for your chance to win the nightly draw for $1000.00 brought to you by Neebing Lumber!
Following round robin competition the first place team will receive a bye directly to the championship game, which will be played at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
The two squads who finish second and third overall in the standings will meet in semifinal action Friday at 7:30 p.m. with the fourth place club being eliminated.
As for the eventual Dudley-Hewitt Cup winner, that side will advance to represent the region at the 2012 Royal Bank Cup national championship May 5-13 in Humboldt, Sask.
A little history for you, the last time the Dudley-Hewitt Cup was hosted in Thunder Bay was back in 2006.
That year the SIJHL champion North Stars defeated the Sudbury Jr. Wolves in the final en route to a berth at that years’ Royal Bank Cup.
The North Stars would advance all the way to semifinals where they lost 3-2 in overtime to the eventual RBC champion Burnaby Express.
In fact the last three times Thunder Bay has hosted the Dudley-Hewitt Cup the home team has come away victorious.
Along with the North Stars triumph in 2006, the Thunder Bay Flyers claimed the title in both 1992 and 1995.