Western Canada Cup gains momentum

The BCHL's Nanaimo Clippers hosted a press conference Thursday to promote next spring’s Western Canada Cup.

Nanaimo Clippers players Colton Dahlen

Nanaimo Clippers players Colton Dahlen

Junior A hockey playoffs are still underway across the country, but the Nanaimo Clippers can concern themselves with next year’s playoffs.

The B.C. Hockey League club hosted a press conference Thursday to promote next spring’s Western Canada Cup.

The cup, a brand-new playoff format, will replace the Doyle Cup series. In 2013, for the first time, five junior A hockey teams will play off in a round-robin tournament to determine Western Canada’s two representatives to nationals.

“I think it’s going to attract so many people from around the Island, and they are going to be blown away by the hockey they are going to see,” said Kelly Hrudey, part owner of the Nanaimo Clippers.

He said even though the participating teams might not have existing rivalries, players are conditioned to compete hard in big games.

“Whether you’re familiar with your opponent or it’s somebody that you’ve never faced before, the energy gets going pretty quickly and it only takes one hit early in a game to get everybody involved,” Hrudey said.

Canadian Junior A Hockey League chairman Kirk Lamb said he likes the Western Canada Cup format because it creates a showcase event for a community, and also a showcase for junior A.

“We’re about developing players, exposure and opportunity…” he said. “Playing a 10-day tournament in high competition, obviously they’re going to benefit from that on the development side. On the exposure side, we think this is a great destination tournament for scouts.”

He met with the commissioners of the junior A leagues from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba in Nanaimo this week. There was talk about rules and also about the Western Canada Cup tournament, including the cup itself.

“We are confident we’ll have a nice trophy to represent the prestige of our leagues,” said Kim Davis, commissioner of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

The CJHL also plans to announce a title sponsor of the event later this spring.

Graham Calder, chairman of the WCC host committee, said he has filled key positions on the committee and will begin reaching out to volunteers as the 2012-13 season approaches.

Clippers plan to be worthy competitors

Four of the teams in the Western Canada Cup will be champions. So the Nanaimo Clippers want to ensure they won’t seem out of place at their own tournament.

The Clippers failed to qualify for the B.C. Hockey League playoffs this year, but the chairman of the Canadian Junior A Hockey League said he isn’t concerned about that.

“The Clippers have a history of success,” said Lamb. “They have a good coaching staff and they’ve got a great organization, a great community to draw players to. This is a proud organization and they’ll step up to the plate, on the ice and off the ice.”

Ken Wagner, owner of the Nanaimo Clippers, said the whole organization will take responsibility in making sure the team is competitive in 2012-13. He said any host team of a tourney like the WCC wants to avoid losing in the first round of the playoffs and sittling idle for weeks.

Hrudey said he met with Wagner and coach Mike Vandekamp on Thursday and feels “really comfortable” with the direction the Clippers are headed.

“We really expect and we’re going to demand that we’re going to have a great team next year. It’s imperative,” Hrudey said.

GAME ON … The Western Canada Cup junior A hockey tournament will be held April 26-May 5, 2013. The host Clippers will take on the playoff champions from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Two of the five teams will advance to the Royal Bank Cup national championships.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

Nanaimo RCMP had been asking for help locating a 43-year-old man whose family was ‘extremely worried.’ (Submitted photo)
UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP report man who had made ‘troubling’ comments has been found

43-year-old is receiving treatment he requires, say police

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

An event on the lawn of the B.C. legislature in Victoria on Tuesday to remember the 215 children whose remains were confirmed buried in unmarked graves outside a Kamloops residential school. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Canada’s racist systems cannot ever be forgiven

Teen letter writer from Nunavut calls for truth and reconciliation

Nanaimo is the first city in Canada to subscribe to the Chonolog environment photo-monitoring system, which allow residents to contribute photos of habitat restoration projects that are converted to time lapse sequences showing environmental changes. (Chris Bush/ News Bulletin)
Nanaimo residents invited to be citizen scientists by sharing habitat restoration photos

Nanaimo first city in Canada to sign up for Chronolog environment photo monitoring service

Regional District of Nanaimo is seeking input from the public for its transit redevelopment strategy. (News Bulletin file)
Public input sought as RDN works on transit redevelopment strategy

RDN wants to know where people want bus stops, shelters and pedestrian and cycling connections

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

City of Nanaimo council has approved amendments for an animal control bylaw requested by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. The bylaw includes language related to quail. (Wikipedia Commons photo)
Province asks for tweaks to Nanaimo’s animal responsibility bylaw

Ministry concerned bylaw wording could create municipal and provincial jurisdictional overlaps

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo hospital district seeks help from other districts for $1-billion project

Funding for Nanaimo Regional General Hospital patient tower discussed by committee

Stuffed toys, many with donations pinned to them, are piled in the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park at a vigil May 31 honouring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered outside a residential school in Kamloops. (News Bulletin file photo)
Thousands donated to child and family service agency following Nanaimo vigil

Toys and money donated to Kw’umut Lelum child and family services

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Most Read