Telus Cup Preview: Stage set for 2014 tournament in Moose Jaw

Staff ~ The Prince Albert Daily Herald
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Prince Albert Mintos captain Teal Sobkowicz skates toward his teammates with the AAA Midget Western Regional Championship trophy on Sunday afternoon after his team beat the Notre Dame Argos 4-3 at the Art Hauser Centre. With the win, the Mintos booked a trip to compete in the national Telus Cup April 21-27 in Moose Jaw. Herald photo by Perry Bergson 

In six days, the top Midget-AAA hockey teams in the country will vie for the national title as the 2014 Telus Cup kicks off in Moose Jaw on Monday.

The stage has been set for the tournament, as Moose Jaw’s Mosaic Place will play host to six teams from five different leagues looking to stake their claim as the best Midget team in Canada. 

Pacific Regional Champions -- Okanagan Rockets -- B.C. Major Midget League

Regular Season -- 32-5-3

Telus Cup Appereances -- First appearance

Regular Season Leading Scorer: Tyson Jost -- 88 points

The Rockets make their Telus Cup debut following a 3-2 overtime triumph over the Red Deer Chiefs in the Pacific Regional final. 

After capturing their league title with a final series win over the Vancouver Northwest Giants, the Rockets enter Moose Jaw as the first British Columbia team to compete in nationals since 1984.

The Rockets will look to forward Tyson Jost to continue to carry the offensive load after he led the league in both regular season and playoff scoring.

Quebec Regional Champions -- Grenadiers De Chateauguay -- Ligue du Midget-AAA

Regular season -- 25-16-1

Telus Cup Apperances -- Bronze (2006)

Regular Season Leading Scorer: Brandon McCulloch -- 54 points

After knocking off the Phenix Du College Esther-Blondin to punch their ticket to the Telus Cup, the Grenadiers will look to become the first Quebec team since 2001 to win the national crown.

En route to their league title, the Grenadiers won five overtime games in the post-season, with a playoff record of 8-2.

Atlantic Region Champions -- Halifax McDonalds -- Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League

Regular Season -- 28-4-2

Telus Cup Appereances: 1980, 1983, 1994, 2011

Regular Season Leading Scorer: Luc Poirier -- 52 points

The McDonalds stormed through their league playoffs to get to the Telus Cup, defeating Newbridge Academy four games to one in the NSMMHL final.

The McDonalds carried the momentum of their league championship into regionals where they were an undefeated 5-0, defeating the Saint John Vitos 5-4 to clinch a spot in the Telus Cup for the fifth time.  

Central Region Champions -- Toronto Young Nationals -- Great Toronto Hockey League

Regular season -- 23-5-5

Telus Cup Appearances -- Bronze (2006), Silver (1976)

The GTHL champion Young Nationals will look to live up to Ontario’s sterling reputation as teams from the province have made it to the Telus Cup final three of the last four years.

Entering the tournament after capturing their league’s regular season and playoff crowns, the Young Nationals lost just a pair of post-season games en route to booking their Telus Cup spot with a 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators.

West Region Champions -- Prince Albert Mintos -- Saskatchewan Midget-AAA Hockey League

Regular Season -- 28-11-4-1

Telus Cup Appearances -- National Champions (2007, 2006)

Regular Season Leading Scorer: Teal Sobkowicz -- 45 points

Despite being eliminated in the second round of their league’s playoffs, the Mintos made the most of their host spot at Western Regionals.

With a stunning 4-3 upset of the SMAAAHL champion Notre Dame Argos, the Mintos are headed to the Telus Cup six years removed from a national championship.

The only team in the tournament with a national title under their belt, the Mintos enter the tournament with a 14-game Telus Cup winning streak.

Since winning it all in 2006, the Mintos remain undefeated in Telus Cup play.

Host -- Moose Jaw Generals -- Saskatchewan Midget-AAA Hockey League

Regular Season -- 25-9-7-3

Telus Cup Appearances -- First Appearance

Regular Season Leading Scorer: Donovan Neuls -- 52 points 

Although eliminated from the first round of the SMAAAHL playoffs, the host Generals will get their shot at redemption as the tournament’s host team.

The Generals will be looking to shake off a fair bit of rust as they haven’t played since March 7, when they were eliminated by the Regina Pat Canadians in the post-season.  

The Generals are looking to become the fourth host team in the tournament’s 40-year history to win the national title.

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