The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced that the Texas Tornado will host the 2012 Robertson Cup National Championship Tournament, which will be held from May 1-5, 2012 at the Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco, Texas.
The Robertson Cup crowns the NAHL’s playoff champion and also represents USA Hockey’s Tier II Junior A national champion.
This marks the second time the Tornado will host the Robertson Cup Championship at the Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco. The Tornado also hosted the tournament during the arena’s inaugural season in 2003-04; the Tornado won the Robertson Cup that year.
Now the league’s second-oldest franchise, the Tornado is one of only three teams in NAHL history to have won the Robertson Cup four or more times (Paddock Pools Saints, Compuware Ambassadors). As the host team, the Tornado will receive an automatic bid to the 2012 tournament.
“We’re very excited to be bringing the Robertson Cup back to Frisco and North Texas in 2012,” said NAHL commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “Over the years, the Tornado has proven to be one of the model organizations of the NAHL, both in terms of fan and community support as well as player development. With the new ownership group in place led by Bill Yuill and Gary Gelinas, there has been a renewed commitment to excellence and we’re confident they will put on a first-class tournament in one of the best facilities in the country.”
“We’re very pleased and honored with hosting the Robertson Cup,” said Gelinas, executive vice president for Consolidated Sports Holdings, Inc., the ownership company of the Tornado. “We’re very thankful to the NAHL and its Board of Governors for allowing us the opportunity to showcase our arena, the City of Frisco and Collin County. We’re very confident that, with the cooperation and support of the Dallas Stars and the beautiful Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco, our second time hosting the Robertson Cup in 2012 will be even bigger and better than when the Tornado last hosted the event in 2004.”
“We’re excited to be hosting this great event for a second time,” said Texas Tornado head coach and general manager Tony Curtale. “The Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco is one of the best facilities in the country and the Dallas/Ft. Worth area is one of the fastest growing areas for hockey, so it’s a perfect fit.”
“The Dallas Stars are pleased and proud to once again be the host facility for the Robertson Cup Championships,” said the Dallas Stars’ Ed Reusch, vice -president of the Dr Pepper Arena. “After a recent renovation, we feel that the Dr Pepper Arena is the perfect venue for these young men to compete for this prestigious trophy. We look forward to working with the Texas Tornado and the North American Hockey League to produce a first-class event.”
Opened in September of 2003, the Dr Pepper Arena is a multi-purpose sports and entertainment venue located in Frisco, Texas, in the heart of Collin County - one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. In addition to being home to the Tornado, it’s the home practice facility and executive offices for the Stars.
During the 2008-09 season, the Dr Pepper Arena was renovated to increase the seating capacity from 3,733 seats to 5,000-7,000 seats depending on the event, and includes 12 luxury suites, a full service Gold Club restaurant and bar, an ice-level party zone and two, 1,000-plus space parking garages on-site. In addition to hockey, the Dr Pepper Arena also hosts concerts, family shows, graduation ceremonies, trade shows and many other live entertainment and sporting events.
Besides its three straight national and Robertson Cup championships from 2004-06, the Tornado has won seven NAHL regular-season division titles and had seven straight 40-plus-win seasons from 1999-07. Since in inception in 1999, the Tornado has developed and advanced over 110 players to NHL, NCAA and professional teams.
In conjunction with the Robertson Cup Championship Tournament, the North American Prospects Hockey League (PHL) will showcase its Top Prospects Tournament, featuring the league’s best players ages 18 and under.
The oldest junior hockey trophy in the United States, the Robertson Cup is named in honor of Chuck Robertson, a pioneer of junior hockey in the NAHL and youth hockey in the state of Michigan. Robertson was the owner of the Paddock Pools team when it won a record seven straight NAHL championships from 1976-83.
The Topeka RoadRunners will host this year’s Robertson Cup Championship Tournament from May 4-8 at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka, Kan.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)