Thursday, April 7, 2011


MONTREAL – The 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup Selection Committee broke the hearts of the Saint John Sea Dogs hockey club this afternoon. At a press conference in Montreal the independent committee announced that the Shawinigan Cataractes will host next year’s Canadian Hockey League championship tournament.

"The selection committee rigorously analyzed each candidacy and made a decision based on the evaluation grid," said Gérald Jannetau in a release.

"The committee’s decision to select Shawinigan to host the event is based on the fact that their bid had all the elements from top to bottom to convince us that they would present an excellent 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup Tournament: great hockey team, good organizing committee and superior installations. Moreover, we felt that the whole community was behind the bid. Each organization was well-prepared and made very professional presentations."

The tournament will be held May 15 to 23 at Centre Bionest in Shawinigan.

The Cataractes should be one of the best teams in the league next season and have a new building that can accommodate large events. The team probably was the better choice to host the 2009 Memorial Cup but their building was not yet completed when the tournament was awarded.

Obviously, it’s a disappointing day for the Sea Dogs and the entire city of Saint John.

“We wish Shawinigan all the best, but we know our organization had an outstanding bid from top to bottom. An incredible amount of work went into this bid and we felt Saint John showed it was by far the best option as a Memorial Cup host city,” Sea Dogs majority owner Scott McCain said in reaction to the news in a release. “We’re obviously disappointed but, having said that, we respect the decision and our organization will move forward.”

“While I must respect the process and want to wish Shawinigan all the best as they move towards hosting the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup, I must say I am disappointed with the final decision,” John Travis, the chair of the Saint John host committee said.

There is a ton of reaction going on about this decision. SN will have a lot more on the announcement later today.

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