Since finishing third in regular season standings, the Midget Mississauga Rebels have been a team to be feared. After defeating the Kraft Cup winning Toronto Young Nationals in six games to take the title as Scotiabank GTHL Playoff Champions, the Rebels headed into the Central Region Championships determined to make an impact.
While facing some of the provinces toughest competition, the Rebels went undefeated throughout the tournament, posting a 5-0-2 record. Their gold medal performance against the Winsor Jr. Spitfires on Sunday earned them a spot in the 2017 TELUS Cup.
“We know that we’re going to be playing the best of the best out in Prince George, but our team is confident and prepared to give it our all,” said Rebels forward Evan Benwell, who had a tournament-leading 11 points at the regional championship. “We’re all excited for this once in a lifetime experience and hopefully we can bring a championship home for the GTHL.”’
Forward Dante Jones reflected on the tournament, calling it one of the best hockey experiences of his career. Despite the big win, Jones emphasizes that the team will need to stay focused in order to succeed on the national stage.
“In the TELUS Cup we will have to stay focused and keep playing the same game we’ve been playing all year but with more intensity,” said Jones, who also won the TELUS Cup Scholarship Award. “The fierce completion from the GTHL playoffs really prepared us for Sudbury and the upcoming TELUSCup.”
The Rebels will also rely on a solid performance from goaltender Christian Purboo, who helped his team earn five wins at the tournament while posting a 0.950 save percentage.
“I am really honored to be participating in the TELUS Cup, representing Ontario and the Rebels,” said Purboo. “Not many players get this experience, so I hope we take advantage of this opportunity, play our best and can be proud of our performance.”
The Rebels’ berth in Canada’s national midget championship will mark the fourth consecutive appearance by a GTHL team. The North York Rangers won the tournament in 2016. The 2017 TELUS Cup will take place in Prince George, B.C. from April 24-30.
Click here for more information on the 2017 TELUS Cup.