While the Rimbey Review may have jumped the gun in the March 9 edition by prematurely stating the Bentley Generals had advanced to the Allan Cup championships later this month in Fort St. John, B.C., the inevitable has occurred and it is now official – the Generals will, in fact, be defending their title as the best senior hockey team in the country.
The Generals passed the final hurdle last week after they defeated the Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs 5-3 to take the Provincial AAA Finals four games to one and punched their ticket to the next round that will see them hooking up with some old rivals.
The Generals, who will represent Alberta, will play in Division Two, opening the tournament on April 19 against the host Fort St. Johns Flyers before facing the Atlantic region representatives Clarenville (Nfld.) Caribous on April 21.
Teams playing in Division One include the Powell River Regals representing British Columbia, the Dundas Real McCoys representing central Canada, and the South East Prairie Thunder representing western Canada.
Fans of the Generals will know that it was the Prairie Thunder that Bentley defeated in last year’s Allan Cup final in double overtime to capture their first national championship.
The tournament’s first playoff round will be held on April 22 with semifinal action scheduled for the following day. All the marbles will be on the line on April 24 for the championship game, which will be televised nationally on TSN2 beginning at 2 p.m. locally. For those seeking radio broadcasts of all the tournament’s games including the final, check online web pages from Fort St. John radio station Moose FM or hockeycanada.ca.
All games will be played at the North Peace Arena.