CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League, announced Wednesday the 22 players that will represent Canada West at the 2013 World Junior A Challenge, Nov, 4-10 in Yarmouth, N.S.
The roster was selected by Canada West head coach Jason McKee (Spruce Grove, AJHL), along with assistant coaches Trent Cassan (Yorkton, SJHL) and Ryan Smith (Selkirk, MJHL), and team manager Shawn Bullock (Hockey Canada) following a four-day selection camp at the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary.
Players named to the Canada West selection camp roster were selected from the CJHL’s five western Junior A leagues: the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) and Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL).
“Canada West has a proud tradition at the World Junior A Challenge, and we’re confident this group of players will continue that tradition,” said McKee. “These 22 young men earned their spots on the roster, and we believe they will represent western Canada well in Yarmouth.”
“It is a tremendous achievement for these players to get to this point, and pulling the Team Canada jersey over their head is something that they will remember for years to come,” said Kirk Lamb, president of the CJHL.
The Canada West roster includes:
• two goaltenders, seven defencemen and 13 forwards;
• 11 players from the AJHL, 10 players from the BCHL, and one player from the SJHL;
• two players returning from the 2012 World Junior A Challenge (Keats, Stoykewych);
• one player selected at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft (Birks – Pittsburgh, 6th round, 164th overall).
Canada West will play in Group B during the 2013 World Junior A Challenge, joined by the Czech Republic and Switzerland, while Canada East, Russia and the United States will comprise Group A.
Preliminary round play will run until Wednesday, Nov. 6, with both semifinals taking place Friday, Nov. 8. The gold medal game, which will be shown nationally on TSN/RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, is set for Sunday, Nov. 10 (check your local listings). All preliminary round games, quarter-finals, semifinals and the bronze medal game can be seen live via webcast through www.hockeycanada.ca.
Canada West has appeared in six of the seven gold medal games at the World Junior A Challenges, winning gold in 2006 in Yorkton, Sask., 2007 in Trail, B.C., and 2011 in Langley, B.C. It settled for silver in 2008 in Camrose, Alta., 2009 in Summerside, P.E.I., and last year in Yarmouth, and finished fourth in 2010 in Penticton, B.C.