Kodiaks Assistant Coach Blair Becker Joins Staff of Team Pacific

Hockey Alberta and BC Hockey announced Wednesday the 22-player roster that will represent Team Pacific at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, December 29 – January 4, 2011 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Team Pacific is comprised of 11 players from BC and 11 players from Alberta. Each province held a provincial camp over the summer to identify a set number of players. These players were evaluated during the first part of the season by a selected group of high performance evaluators.

“For the entire staff of Team Pacific, today is a very exciting day because the player roster for Team Pacific is formally announced. A hockey team is like a giant puzzle and though there was some very tough decisions through this process, we as an entire staff feel we have the right pieces that will fit together, both on and off the ice, that will give us the best opportunity for success at the tournament,” said Team Pacific Head Coach, Robert Dirk.

“We would like to thank all the players that were short listed from both provinces for their time, effort and dedication in trying to make Team Pacific. Unfortunately, today is a very disappointing day for some. However, some of the players who were not named to the final roster are still going to go on and have long, successful careers at the Junior, College and quite possibly at the Professional level. We would like to wish all the players the best of luck for the rest of this season and for the season’s to come,” commented Dirk.

The 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will bring together the top players in the world born in 1994 or later. The tournament is made up of 10 teams; five (5) from Canada – Quebec, Ontario, Pacific (Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Yukon), Atlantic (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island) and West (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nunavut), and five (5) International teams – Germany, Slovakia, Finland, Czech Republic and the United States.

Team Pacific has included some of the top hockey players that Canada has ever produced. Some notable graduates who have competed on Team Pacific include:

– Joe Sakic, Team Pacific 1986
– Jarome Iginla, Team Pacific 1994
– Brent Seabrook, Team Pacific 2002
– Dion Phaneuf, Team Pacific 2002
– Mike Green, Team Pacific 2002
– Evander Kane, Team Pacific 2008

The Under 17 program is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence. Many players who compete at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge go on to represent Canada with the National Men’s Under 18 Team, National Junior Team and National Men’s Team.

At the 2010 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Timmins, Ontario, Team Pacific finished fifth.