NORTH BAY – As the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League season marches towards crowning a champion in 2013 the North Bay Trappers also have another title in their sights.
It is 110 days away until the start of the 2013 Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canadian Jr. A Championship, which will be hosted by the NOJHL’s Trappers at North Bay’s venerable Memorial Gardens.
The five-day event will feature the host Trappers welcoming the respective champions of the NOJHL, Ontario Jr. Hockey League and the Superior International Jr. Hockey League vying for the right to represent the region at the 2013 Royal Bank Cup May 11-19 in Summerside, P.E.I.
Should North Bay go on to capture the NOJHL crown then the league finalist will also be among the four competing teams.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Heading up the large volunteer group that is busily organizing the Dudley-Hewitt Cup is longtime hockey man Bruce Cazabon, who brings along a wealth of hockey and business experience to the event.
The Sturgeon Falls native will be responsible for the execution of the event, including the advertising and marketing of the championship leading up to the event.
“This is a great opportunity for the Trappers, the City of North Bay and our surrounding communities to take part in this exciting championship,” offered Cazabon.
“Myself and all our committee members will work tirelessly to ensure all fans enjoy this event and I am very excited to be a part of this terrific opportunity.”
Trappers President Chris Dawson is thrilled to have Cazabon on board.
“Bruce has tremendous business connections and he’s a tireless worker,” said Dawson.
Anyone interested in supporting and or becoming involved in the 2013 Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canadian Jr. ‘A’ Championship is asked to contact Executive Director Bruce Cazabon via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TICKETS: Ticket packages are now on sale for the 2013 Dudley-Hewitt Cup in North Bay.
Adult passes for all eight games, including six round robin contests, the semifinal and the championship game are available for just $95.
Seniors and students packages go for $75 while children’s ticket packs are just $50.
Be sure to visit the event website at dudleyhewittcup.pointstreaksites.com to purchase your tickets or to receive more information.
SCHEDULE: Look for the Dudley-Hewitt Cup game schedule to be released in the coming weeks.
The first three days of the event will feature round robin competition between the Trappers, NOJHL, OJHL and the SIJHL and will see two contests per day.
Following round robin play the first place club will receive an automatic bye to the championship game on May 4 while the second and third place squads will battle for a berth in the title game in semifinal action on May 3.
THE LEAGUES: The following is a breakdown on the three leagues that will be represented in North Bay at the Dudley-Hewitt Cup as well as a look at some of the teams that are in the hunt to make the trip to North Bay for the event.
NOJHL: While the Trappers have an automatic berth to this year’s Dudley-Hewitt Cup the club is also focused on going in the front as NOJHL title holders.
North Bay currently tops the league standings on 46 points, two clear of the second place Soo Thunderbirds who are the reigning NOJHL and Dudley-Hewitt Cup champions and had a top-four finish at last season’s Royal Bank Cup in Humboldt, Sask.
Also moving back into the picture among the league’s elite are the red-hot Sudbury Nickel Barons.
Sudbury has won seven consecutive games, including a narrow 2-1 decision at home vs. North Bay Wednesday evening, to move to within six points of first place.
OJHL: The Trenton Golden Hawks lead Ontario Junior Hockey League standings with 62 points and also boast the top winning percentage at .775.
Sitting in second spot, one point in arrears of Trenton, are the Buffalo Jr. Sabres. They are also second in winning percentage at .709. Rounding out the top three are the Georgetown Raiders who sit with 59 points.
SIJHL: Pacing the Superior International Junior Hockey League is the Minnesota Wilderness who sit in first place with a 29-3-1 overall record and are the No. 2 ranked club in the Canadian Jr. Hockey League.
Despite having a 17-game winning streak snapped Wednesday evening in a 2-1 shootout loss, where they badly out shot their opponents, they still sport the second best winning percentage in the CJHL at .894. They are also the two-time defending SIJHL champions.
PAST CHAMPIONS: Last season’s Dudley-Hewitt Cup crown won by the Soo Thunderbirds in Thunder Bay marked the first time a NOJHL side captured the title since the Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats accomplished the feat back in 2002.
It also put an end a run of five consecutive titles won by the OJHL, who have garnered DHC accolades in eight of the previous 10 years. The Thunderbirds and the 2006 Fort William (Thunder Bay) North Stars of the SIJHL are the only non-OJHL sides to win it all in the past decade.
Since 1979 only a trio of teams have won three or more Dudley-Hewitt Cup crowns. The Thunder Bay Flyers won a record four times while Rayside-Balfour and the Orillia Travelways have three to their credit.
ROYAL BANK CUP: As mentioned the Dudley-Hewitt winner will be heading to Prince Edward Island in May to represent the region at the Royal Bank Cup.
Joining the DHC champion and the RBC host Summerside Western Capitals will be the winner and runner-up of the Western Canada Cup along with the recipient of the Fred Page Cup, which is emblematic of Eastern Canada Jr. A hockey supremacy.
The Road to the RBC
Central Canada Championship
April 30 – May 4
North Bay, Ont.
Fred Page Cup
Eastern Canada Championship
Western Canada Cup
Western Canada Championship
April 27 – May 5
Royal Bank Cup
Canadian Jr. A Championship
2013 RBC schedule
All times Atlantic
All games at Summerside, P.E.I.
Saturday, May 11
West2 vs. East 3 p.m.
Summerside vs. Central (DHC) 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 12
West1 vs. East 3 p.m.
Central (DHC) vs. West2 7:30 p.m.
Monday, May 13
Summerside vs. West 1 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 14
East vs. Central (DHC) 3 p.m.
West2 vs. Summerside 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 15
Central vs. West1 3 p.m.
Thursday, May 16
West1 vs. West2 3 p.m.
Summerside vs. East 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 18
*Semifinal No. 1 2 p.m.
*Semifinal No. 2 6 p.m.
Sunday, May 19
RBC Championship Game - Time T.B.A.
*-First place team after round robin play chooses which semifinal time slot they will play in.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)