RBC Cup Preview

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After clinching their second Dudley Hewitt Cup title in franchise history with a 3-2 win over Fort Frances on Saturday, the Soo Thunderbirds are getting set to take the national stage in Portage la prairie, Manitoba. The RBC Cup tournament is hosted by the number one team in the nation Portage Terriers and will also feature four other teams who finished in the Canadian Junior Hockey League top twenty rankings including: The Soo Thunderbirds (12), Carleton Place Canadians (5), Melfort Mustangs (7) and Penticton Vees (6).

This will mark just the second time the T-Birds will compete for a national title after finishing with a 2-2 record back in 2012 while John Kleinhans was named the RBC Cup most valuable player and top goaltender. After winning the Dudley Hewitt Cup tournament’s most sportsmanlike player, Owen Headrick also set the team record for most points (5) and assists (5) amongst defensemen at the tournament passing James Delayer (4 points in 2012) and Josh Hicks (4 assists/points in 2012). Other T-Bird record setters at the Dudley Hewitt Cup tournament were Matt Pinder, who scored the cup winning goal, also led the tournament with four tallies passing Kevin Michelcavage (2012), Nick Romano (2012), Ryan Vendramin (2013) along with teammate Boris Katchouk (2015), who shared the previous record with three. Hounds 2014 second round pick Boris Katchouk led the Soo with six points (3g 3a) at the Dud, which tied the team record with Kevin Michelcavage (2012) and Nick Romano (2012) for most points at the tournament.

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Portage Terriers were led by overage forward Zack Waldvogel, who led the team with seventy eight points through sixty games played.

The Central Canada Hockey League’s Carleton Place Canadians (Fred Page Cup Champions) were led during by overage right winger Andy Sturtz with seventy two points through fifty eight games.

The British Columbia Hockey League’s Penticton Vees (Crescent Point Energy Cup Champions) were led by nineteen year old forward and St. Cloud State (NCAA Division 1) recruit Patrick Newell with fourty seven points through fifty six games.

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Melfort Mustangs (Crescent Point Energy Cup Finalist) were led by league’s top scorer Travis Mayan with eighty four points through fifty six games along with goaltender Richard Palmer, who tied the league with five shutouts joining Jack Burgart (Weyburn Red Wings), led the SJHL with twenty nine wins and a 1.78 goals against average.

RBC Cup Schedule:

Sat, May 9th: T-Birds vs Canadians at 8pm

Mon, May 11th: Mustangs vs T-Birds at 8pm

Tues, May 12th: T-Birds vs Terriers at 8pm

Thur, May 14th: Vees vs T-Birds at 3pm

Fri, May 15th: Canadian Junior Hockey League Awards Banquet

Sat, May 16th: Semifinal 1 at 3pm and semifinal 2 at 8pm

Sun, May 17th: Final at 3pm

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Matt Stefano
Matt had graduated from Sault College in the General Arts and Sciences program in 2011 and has been working in the sports field ever since. The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native has worked as an Athletics Assistant in the Sault College Athletics Department during his final year of school in 2011. After graduating, Stefano worked for two years at the George Leach Centre from 2011-2013 for the Algoma University Thunderbirds Varsity Basketball Games as an Athletics Assistant. From 2013 on, Stefano has been working as the Soo Thunderbirds communications person and has also been volunteering with Shaw TV Sault Ste. Marie since 2014, doing Soo Thunderbirds TV Segments.