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Saskatoon Blades hope to act as rude hosts and win 2013 Memorial Cup at home

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CALGARY - Simply being hosts of the 2013 Memorial Cup won't be enough for the Saskatoon Blades.

"Our goal now is to not only to host the Memorial Cup but to win it," Lorne Molleken, the Blades head coach and general manager, said Wednesday.

"We look forward to the challenge in front of us."

Saskatoon was awarded the Canadian Hockey League championship following a vote by the board of governors of the Western Hockey League.

The Red Deer Rebels and Kelowna Rockets were the other finalists to host the annual tournament.

The competition will be held at the 15,000-seat Credit Union Centre. Saskatoon and Regina hosted the 2010 world junior championships.

WHL commissioner Ron Robison said both factors played a role in the decision.

"It's a larger venue than the other two markets," said Robison. "That played into it to some extent.

"I don't think there's any doubt the city of Saskatoon, the entire province of Saskatchewan, will embrace this event in a big way. They are a special event community in Saskatoon. They have a great history of supporting major events."

Kelowna's Prospera Centre seats 6,000 while Red Deer's Enmax Centrium holds just over 5,700.

The tournament includes the host team plus the league champions from the Western, Ontario and Quebec leagues.

Shawinigan, Que., will hold the 2012 Memorial Cup.

Jack Brodsky, the Blades owner and co-chair of Saskatoon's five-man bid committee, said he was nervous listening to the 45-minute presentations made by the other two cities.

"It was a little humbling in the room there," said Brodsky. "I know that Kelowna and Red Deer both made great bids and great presentations.

"We felt we put our best foot forward and came through with the win. We are very excited about the opportunity to step forward and make this happen."

Brent Sutter, coach of the NHL Calgary Flames, is also owner and president of the Red Deer Rebels.

Sutter missed the Flames practice in Montreal on Wednesday to be in Calgary for the Red Deer presentation.

Saskatoon last hosted the Memorial Cup in 1989. The Blades made the final but lost to the Swift Current Broncos in overtime.

The Blades project they will have 20 players returning to next year's team.

"We wouldn't have been here if we didn't feel comfortable about our hockey club," said Brodsky. "Obviously there will be some tweaking to do.

"We believe we have the assets to make our club a real serious contender for the championship in 2013."

Saskatoon officials are predicting an economic impact of $19 million from the tournament.

The Rockets won the 2004 Memorial Cup as the host club.

The Brandon Wheat Kings were the last WHL team to host the championship in 2010.

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