The 2014 Royal Bank Cup roster was confirmed on the weekend, with the host Vernon Vipers as the lone B.C. representative.
Seeking a berth in the RBC, the BCHL Champion Coquitlam Express opened the Western Canada Cup with two quick wins, then lost their captain and leading scorer Ryan Rosenthal to injury. They then went on an 0-3 skid including 5-3 losses to Dauphin and Spruce Grove to be eliminated from RBC contention in Dauphin, Man. last week.
The Yorkton Terriers were the first team through to the RBC Cup after they beat Dauphin 5-4 Saturday night in the Western Canada Cup championship game.
The Vipers, with Trail’s Dallas Calvin and Castlegar’s Ryan Renz in the line up, will open the national Junior A hockey tournament Saturday night at Kal Tire Place against the Eastern champion Carleton Place Canadiens of Ottawa.
The Vipers have been given a mulligan with an automatic host bid into the RBC Cup.
“We will refine every aspect and make sure our cardio is good to go,” coach Jason Williamson told the Vernon Morning Star.
“We are also bringing in affiliated players for some scrimmages.”
The Canadians enjoyed a record-setting season with 54 wins and 110 points and took the Fred Page Cup Sunday with a 3-1 win over the host St. Jerome Panthers. The Canadians were unbeaten in the tourney.
The Dauphin Kings earned their RBC berth with a 4-3 comeback victory over the Spruce Grove Saints Sunday night at the Western Canada Cup.
Dauphin opens the RBC Saturday afternoon against the Central champion Toronto Lakeshore Patriots. Toronto claimed the Dudley Hewitt Cup by clipping the Wellington Dukes 2-1. The Dukes had earlier stopped the Pats 5-3 in the round-robin.