Coy Cup kicks off tomorrow

Terrace River Kings play Quesnel beginning at 5 pm

THE 2013 Coy Cup gets under way in Kitimat on March 12th. With organizations releasing very little in terms of official information about the tournament, here is what we’ve been able to ascertain.

Four Central Interior Hockey League teams will compete for the British Columbia’s Senior AA championship. The Kitimat Ice Demons, the Quesnel Kangaroos and Williams Lake Stampeders, all former champions, will be joined by the Terrace River Kings in the four team tournament.

The defending Coy Cup champion and reigning CIHL champion Smithers Steelheads declined to participate in this year’s tourney, ensuring a new champion will be crowned.

Terrace opens the tournament on Tuesday, March 12th with a game against Quesnel at 5 p.m. Tickets are available at the door of Tamitik Arena, though travelling Terrace fans can also get tickets in advance at All Season’s Source For Sports in Terrace.

Kitimat will play Williams Lake in game 2 of Tuesday’s double-header at 8 p.m. Subsequent round robin games are dependent on the results of day one and will be announced on the day of the game. Games will always be played at either 5 pm or 8 p.m., with the only certainty being all Kitimat games will be played 8 pm.

The top team in the round robin gets a bye into the final while the 4th place team is immediately eliminated. The second and third place teams face off in a semi-final showdown on Friday, March 15 at 8 pm. The winner of that game will play the first place team in the one game, winner-takes-all championship game on Saturday night at 8 p.m.

Williams Lake could be the team to beat in the Coy Cup. Aside from the absent Smithers team, Williams Lake has been the class of the CIHL in the last two seasons. They won the Coy Cup in 2009, and were finalists in 2010 and 2011. It remains to be seen how much of their impressive roster will make the trip for 2013.

Kitimat is always a favourite and they should have a full roster. The Ice Demons won the Coy Cup in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2011, and were finalists in 2003, 2007 and 2012.

Quesnel was once a Coy Cup power house, winning the championship in 1966, 1968, eight times in nine years between 1982 and 1990, and again in 1998. The current Kangaroos team was reincarnated as a CIHL team in 2010 and are looking to return to past glories.

Terrace, who hosted the Coy Cup in 2009, is the underdog of the tournament. They were eliminated from the CIHL playoffs by Kitimat a month ago. The team has been practising since.

The River Kings benefited most from Smithers’ absence and the lack of interest from teams from other leagues to come north. CIHL regular season standings left Terrace next in line to be invited. Terrace’s proximity to Kitimat certainly made it an obvious inclusion under the circumstances.

Special Thanks To Allan Hewitson.

Joe Pelletier is a hockey writer living in Terrace. You can read his work at and on Twitter @HockeyLegends.