r t t c  t e l u s  final 6 18

And then there were six…

Field set for 2018 TELUS Cup

Jason La Rose
April 10, 2018

After 64 days and 427 games, the Road to the TELUS Cup came to an end Sunday.

The Toronto Young Nationals (Central) and Notre Dame Hounds (West) claimed the final two berths; they will join the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves (Host), Moncton Flyers (Atlantic), Cantonniers de Magog (Quebec) and Lethbridge Hurricanes (Pacific) at Canada’s National Midget Championship.

Here’s a quick look at the six teams who will compete for a national title beginning April 23.

The hosts are ready to welcome the nation to northern Ontario. Sudbury came up one point short of North Bay in the regular season despite 31 wins in 36 games, but had the Trappers’ number when it counted most, taking the best-of-five GNML championship in five games. The Wolves were edged out of a semifinal spot at the Central Regional, but gained experience that will serve them well at the TELUS Cup.

This year marks 20 years since Sudbury last hosted Canada’s National Midget Championship, and 10 years since the Wolves were crowned national champions in Arnprior, Ont., becoming the first Central Region team to hoist the TELUS Cup.

The Flyers are headed back to the TELUS Cup for the third time in 10 years after an almost-perfect run through the playoffs. Moncton claimed the regular-season title in the NBPEIMMHL before sweeping aside Fredericton and Saint John to claim the New Brunswick championship. It started Atlantics with a 7-0 loss to St. John’s, but that would be the lone blemish, and the Flyers earned the regional crown with a double-overtime win over Dartmouth.

Moncton will make an eighth all-time appearance at the national championship, and its most successful trip was its first – the Flyers finished fourth when they hosted the 1977 tournament, but have yet to return to the medal round.

It wasn’t always easy, but the Young Nationals are back at the TELUS Cup. The 2015 national champions topped the GTHL in the regular season, and went undefeated in their first 13 playoff games en route to a league title. The Central Regional was a rollercoaster; Toronto went 2-3 in the prelims and needed a late power-play goal to edge unbeaten Rockland in the semifinals before scoring four first-period goals to earn a comfortable win over Ajax-Pickering in the regional final.

It’s the third appearance in five years for the Young Nationals, who finished fourth in 2014 before winning the title a year later. They’re also the fifth-consecutive GTHL team to reach the TELUS Cup – the league has two gold medals and a bronze in the last three years.

From worst to first, the Hurricanes will appear at their first-ever TELUS Cup. Lethbridge improved from seven wins to 24 and finished No. 1 in the AMHL in the regular season, before erasing a 2-1 deficit to top Edmonton KoC in five games and claim its first league championship. The Hurricanes booked their ticket to Sudbury with a two-game sweep of Fraser Valley in the Pacific Regional, going on the road and outscoring the Thunderbirds 11-4.

It’s the fourth time in five years the Pacific champion has been a first-time participant at the national championship, following Okanagan (2014), Strathmore (2015) and Lloydminster (2016). The region hasn’t won a medal since 2014 – its longest-such streak since the six-team format began in 1984.

The Cantonniers turned a strong regular season into a playoff championship, earning the Quebec berth at the TELUS Cup for the first time in 18 years, and just the second time ever. The top-ranked and highest-scoring team during the regular season, Magog had only one hiccup in the playoffs, surviving a back-and-forth seven-game series to eliminate Châteauguay in the semifinals before sweeping away Trois-Rivières in four straight to claim the LHMAAAQ title.

The last game the Cantonniers played at Canada’s National Midget Championship was a 6-0 victory over Collège Français de Montréal-Bourassa to win the national title in 2000. (They also hosted in 1995.) Surprisingly, Quebec teams have won just one gold medal since – Ste-Foy in 2001.

No team comes to the TELUS Cup hotter than the Hounds, who have won all 13 of their playoff games and have dropped just three of 33 in total since the calendar turned to 2018. Notre Dame was the class of the SMAAAHL in the regular season before sweeping the Saskatoon Blazers, Swift Current and Prince Albert to claim the playoff title. They were perfect at the West Regional, capped by a win over the Winnipeg Wild to clinch a spot in Sudbury.

The Hounds are one of the most successful teams ever on the national stage, claiming a record-tying four Canadian titles (1980, 1986, 2009, 2010) in 10 appearances. They also carry a 15-game unbeaten streak at the TELUS Cup, second-longest ever (Prince Albert has gone 21 straight without a loss).

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

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