For the first time since the Toronto Young Nationals edged the Cantonniers
de Magog 2-1 in double overtime to win the TELUS Cup on April 28, 2019,
Canada’s National Men’s U18 Club Championship is back up for grabs.
The Notre Dame Hounds secured the final spot over the weekend, claiming the
West Region title with a 4-3 win over the Southwest Cougars. They’ll join
their counterparts from the Hounds’ women’s program, who are
competing at the 2022 Esso Cup.
They’ll join the Sydney Rush (Host), Vancouver North East Chiefs (Pacific),
Cantonniers de Magog (Quebec), Mississauga Reps (Central) and Moncton
Flyers (Atlantic) in Okotoks, Alta., beginning May 16.
Here’s a quick look at the teams competing:
HOST TEAM – SYDNEY RUSH
While originally set to host the tournament, COVID-19 challenges will bring
the Rush to the national championship more than 5,000 kilometres from home.
Its 17-15-2 record had Sydney fifth in the NSU18MHL, but a roster that
includes league MVP Logan McNeil and Top Defenceman recipient Preston
Pattengale ensures the Rush will be competitive on the national stage.
This will be the first TELUS Cup appearance for Sydney, which is trying to
end 31 years of futility – no host team has won the national title since
the Calgary Northstars in 1991.
ATLANTIC REGION – MONCTON FLYERS
It’s a return engagement for the Flyers, who will represent the East Coast
for the ninth time. After topping with NBPEIU18MHL with a 25-3-2 record,
Moncton has been absolutely perfect, sweeping through the New Brunswick
playoffs with a 7-0 mark before going unbeaten at the Atlantic Regional.
The Flyers are dominant at both ends, posting a +116 goal differential in
the regular season and a +29 mark in the playoffs.
While they’re frequent competitors at the national championship, the Flyers
are still looking to get out of the preliminary round – in their eight
previous appearances, they’ve never finished better than fifth.
CENTRAL REGION – MISSISSAUGA REPS
Regular-season champions in the GTHL with just three losses in 28 games,
the Reps came up a win short of a playoff title, falling 3-2 to the Toronto
Young Nationals – the defending TELUS Cup champions – in the championship
game. But Mississauga got its revenge when it mattered most, ending the
Young Nationals’ hopes of back-to-back national titles with a 3-1 victory
in the Central Region final.
This will be the second TELUS Cup appearance for the Reps, who were
backstopped to the national final by current Buffalo Sabres goaltender
Malcolm Subban in 2010. They’ll look to continue a run of success by
Central teams, who have won three of the last five TELUS Cups.
PACIFIC REGION – VANCOUVER NE CHIEFS
The Chiefs have gone where few from their province have gone before. The
best in the BCEHL in the regular season with a 26-4-1 record, Vancouver NE
followed up its league title with a thrilling victory over the Calgary
Buffaloes in the Pacific Regional, staying alive with a 4-3 overtime
victory in Game 2 before eking out a 2-1 win in Game 3 to become just the
third B.C. team since 1993 to beat the Alberta champs.
The Chiefs will make their TELUS Cup debut, looking to join the 1982
Burnaby Winter Club Travellers as the only team from the westernmost
province to claim a national championship.
QUEBEC REGION – CANTONNIERS DE MAGOG
Will it be third time a charm for the Cantonniers? After losing in the
TELUS Cup final in 2018 and 2019, the Cantonniers are back, finishing the
LDHM18AAAQ regular season with the league’s second-best record (29-9-3)
before going 13-3 in the playoffs, capped by a five-game victory over the
Chevaliers de Lévis. Magog had four of the top five playoff scorers – the
quartet combined for 94 points in 16 games.
The first team to qualify for three-consecutive national championships
since the 1995-97 Thunder Bay Kings, the Cantonniers – who are making a
fifth appearance overall – will look to add a second TELUS Cup to the one
they earned in 2000.
WEST REGION – NOTRE DAME HOUNDS
It’ll be a Hound-heavy week in Okotoks, with Notre Dame earning berths at
both the TELUS Cup and Esso Cup. Champions of the SMAAAHL in the regular
season with a 35-8-1 record and a league-high 233 goals scored, the Hounds
dropped just two games in their league playoff run, sweeping aside Warman
in the final, before going to Virden, Man., and claiming yet another West
This will be the 12th TELUS Cup appearance for the Hounds – the second-most
ever – and they’ll look to add to their record-setting haul of five
national titles (1980, 1986, 2009, 2010, 2018).