THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay major midget Kings continue their quest along the TELUS Cup Trail Friday evening on home ice as they host the rival Kenora Thistles in Game 3 of the Hockey Northwestern Ontario AAA midget District Championship at 7 p.m. at Fort William First Nation Arena.
Thunder Bay leads the best-of-five series 2-0 after taking the first contests this past weekend in Kenora by scores of 5-4, in overtime, and 4-1.
Games 4 and 5, if necessary, would be held at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday respectively at FWFNA.
The winner of the HNO district crown will then advance to represent the region at the TELUS Cup West Regional, April 4-7, in Tisdale, Sask., against the champions of the Manitoba Midget Hockey League, the Saskatchewan AAA Midget Hockey League and the host Tisdale Trojans of the SAAAMHL.
Manitoba will be represented at the West Regional by either the Winnipeg Wild or the Brandon Wheat Kings, who commence the MMHL best-of-five final tonight in Winnipeg.
The Wild (41-5-0-2) finished first overall in their 13-team league standings while the Wheat Kings (35-11-0-2) were third.
Winnipeg advanced to the finals after playoff triumphs over the Winnipeg Bruins and the Southwest Cougars.
Brandon meanwhile knocked off the Eastman Selects from Steinbach and the No. 2 seeded Yellowhead Chiefs to earn their way for a chance at a Manitoba championship.
In Saskatchewan, the defending West Regional and TELUS Cup national champion Notre Dame Hounds (28-12-2-2), who finished in fourth spot in the 12-team SAAAMHL in 2018-19, upended the first place Regina Pat Canadians (33-7-2-2) Wednesday night in a jam-packed arena in one league semifinal that went the distance.
Joining Notre Dame in the final will be the No. 3 seeded Saskatoon Blazers (31-10-0-3), who defeated second place Tisdale (32-7-4-1) in the other best-of-five semifinal that was decided in four games.
The West Regional victor will earn a berth to the TELUS Cup Canadian National Midget Hockey Championship, April 22-28, at the Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay.
Should the TELUS Cup-host Kings prevail as HNO district champions and go on to claim the regional title as well, then that event finalist would also earn a berth to the nationals.
A variety of TELUS Cup ticket packages remain on sale for the week-long event that is being held in Thunder Bay for the first time in over 30 years.
Cost for a complete 19-game ticket package is $89 for adults and $67 for youth.
A package featuring all five round robin evening games the host Thunder Bay major midget Kings will play in are also now available at a cost of $50.
Round robin single-game tickets at the door will be $12.50.
To purchase tickets online, visit HockeyCanada.ca/tickets.
HNO AAA Midget District Championship
Thunder Bay major midget Kings vs. Kenora Thistles
Kings lead best-of-five series 2-0
Game 1: Thunder Bay 5 Kenora 4 (OT)
Game 2: Thunder Bay 4 Kenora 1
Game 3: Friday, March 22 – 7 p.m. (Fort William First Nation Arena)
Game 4*: Saturday, March 23 – 1 p.m. (FWFNA)
Game 5*: Sunday, March 24 – 1 p.m. (FWFNA)
* – if necessary
Manitoba Midget Hockey League championship series
Winnipeg Wild vs. Brandon Wheat Kings
Game 1: Thursday, March 21 @ Winnipeg 8 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, March 23 @ Brandon 8:30 p.m.
Game 3: Monday, March 25 @ Winnipeg 8 p.m.
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
Game 1: Saturday, March 23 @ Saskatoon 9:30 p.m.
Game 2: T.B.A. @ Notre Dame
Game 3: T.B.A. @ Saskatoon
Game 4*: T.B.A. @ Notre Dame
Game 5*: T.B.A. @ Saskatoon
* – if necessary
TELUS Cup West Regional
Thursday, April 4
Game 1: T.B.A.
Game 2: T.B.A.
Friday, April 5
Game 3: T.B.A.
Game 4: T.B.A.
Saturday, April 6
Game 5: T.B.A.
Game 6: T.B.A.
Sunday, April 7
Final: 2nd round robin vs. 1st round robin T.B.A.
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.