Saskatoon to host 2013 Memorial Cup
The 2013 Memorial Cup will be held in Saskatoon.
The decision was announced Wednesday in Calgary by the Western Hockey League.
"We're just really thrilled to death that we get to see our boys play in this," hockey fan Ida Nerbas told CBC News Wednesday night. "We'll be with them all the way."
Nerbas has volunteered for other hockey championships in Saskatoon and says Memorial Cup will be special.
Members of the bid committee said community support was key to securing the hosting prize.
"The support that this community has given this city for all the different events we've had over the years, whether it be sporting or cultural or whatever was a real strong case for us to make today," Saskatoon Blades owner Jack Brodsky and co-chair of the bid committee said Wednesday. "That helped us a lot to win it."
There is also optimism that the Saskatoon Blades could be contenders.
Coach and general manager Lorne Molleken says the Blades have as many as 20 players that could come back next season to make a run for the title.
"With a strong experienced group like that you know our goal now is not only to host the Memorial Cup but to win it," Molleken said.
The Red Deer Rebels and Kelowna Rockets were the other finalists to host the annual Canadian Hockey League championship.
The tournament includes the host team plus the league champions from the Western, Ontario and Quebec leagues.
Shawinigan, Que., will host the 2012 Memorial Cup.
The last time Saskatoon hosted the CHL championship was in 1989.
With files from the CBC's Kathy Fitzpatrick