Forward Sam Brunton and the Kenora AAA Midget Thistles are gearing up for the Hockey Northwestern Ontario AAA Branch Championships this weekend. They’ll be taking on the Thunder Bay Kings in a best-of-five series to earn the right to represent the region in the national Telus Cup.

“I’m looking forward to the excitement and the atmosphere. Great to play at home. It’s going to be a good series, they’re a good competitor, and they’re going to push us but we’re going to push them right back. They’re looking pretty good right now, but we can handle them.”

“The boys are really clicking right now. It’s been good over the past couple of weeks, nice to have a bit of a break, but we’re excited.”

Games 1 and 2 will be taking place on March 15 at 7:30 p.m. and March 16 at 1 p.m., with both games taking place at the Kenora Rec Centre. Then. the Thistles head to Thunder Bay for game 3, and if necessary, games 4 and 5.

The winner of the branch playdowns will move on to represent the region at the Western Canadian Regionals of the Telus Cup in Tisdale, Saskatchewan between April 4 - 7. The Telus Cup - the Canadian National Midget Championship - is taking place between April 22 – 28 in Thunder Bay, and will feature five teams who will all represent their region of Canada.

The Thunder Bay Kings are a AAA Midget team based in the North American Prospects Hockey League, and will be hosting the Telus Cup this year. They went 13-6-1 in 20 games this season, and was crowned the NAPHL’s champion in the playoffs.

The Thistles placed 9th in league standings following the end of the regular season, with a record of 20-26-2, for 42 points. Only the top 8 teams in the 13 team league make the playoffs.

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