The east region champs will be first up for the Vernon Vipers May 10 at 7 p.m., at the 2014 RBC Cup Canadian Junior A hockey tournament at Kal Tire Place.
The organizing committee has released the tournament schedule.
“The first contest of the 10-game round robin will pit west 2 against the east region representative at 2 p.m. on May 10,” said tournament chairperson Mike Lane.
“The tournament’s opening ceremonies will take place prior to the Vipers’ opening game.”
The west region has two representatives to be determined from the Western Canadian tournament in Dauphin, Man., featuring the champions of the four western provinces’ hockey leagues.
If the Vipers win the BCHL title, they will travel to Dauphin. If they finish in the top two, the third place team will come to Vernon.
Each team plays each of the other four teams once in the tournament’s round robin component, which concludes with two games on May 15.
The Vipers will play all of their round robin games at 7 p.m. on May 10, May 12 (vs west 1), May 13 (vs west 2) and May 15 (vs central).
“At that point one team will be eliminated from the tournament and the remaining four teams will rest May 16, before engaging in the two semi-finals on Saturday,” said Lane.
The top-ranked team from the round robin games will choose whether to play in the afternoon game or the evening game on Saturday.
That squad will play the fourth ranked team in one playoff game while teams two and three will meet in the other.
In previous RBC Cups, the Vipers have had success playing in the afternoon game and getting several hours of extra rest for the Sunday championship final.
Some host teams have chosen the Saturday evening time slot to maximize attendance and it has backfired when the team came up against a more rested squad in the final.
“In 2010, for example, the host Dauphin Kings chose the late Saturday slot and offered little resistance as they were drubbed 8-1 by the Vipers the next afternoon,” said Lane.
The tournament banquet and awards night will be held May 16.
The teams and a few dignitaries will be hosted at a banquet at the Prestige Inn. Then, they will move to the Vernon and Performing Arts Centre for awards ceremonies. A guest speaker has not yet been confirmed.
RBC Cup Christmas gift packs are now until Dec. 23.
The packs include RBC Cup clothing and souvenirs in addition to a ticket for each of the 13 games in the 2014 RBC Cup.
The total Christmas pack costs $229, including taxes and fees.
“The Christmas gift pack is a good deal because the ticket package sells for $229, including taxes and fees, and the other items in the pack have a retail value of between $40 and $50,” said Lane.
Prime seats are still available for the RBC Cup, but they are in limited supply.
Just 100 Christmas gift packs will be offered.
The RBC Cup Christmas gift packs can be purchased at the Vernon Viper office in Kal Tire Place or at the RBC Cup table during Viper games.
The first opportunity to purchase will be at today’s game when the Vipers host the Merritt Centennials.
Purchasers can also get the packs online by going to the Viper home page, www.vipers.bc.ca, clicking on the RBC Cup logo, and clicking on “Tickets” when the 2014 RBC Cup website appears.
Tournament packages can be ordered by going to www.vipers.bc.ca and clicking on the 2014 RBC Cup link on the upper right corner.
Packages are also available at all Viper home games at the RBC Cup table.