Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) and BC Hockey, announced Wednesday that Langley, B.C., will host the 2011 World Junior A Challenge from November 7-13, 2011. This will mark the second year in a row and third time in the six-year history of the tournament that it will be held in British Columbia.
The 2011 World Junior A Challenge will follow the same format as previous years – two Canadian entries will be joined by four international teams, with two groups of three teams. The group winners will receive an automatic bye to the semifinals, while the second- and third-place teams will crossover for the quarter-finals. All 13 games of the 2011 World Junior A Challenge will take place at the Langley Events Centre, home of the BCHL’s Langley Rivermen.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary season of the British Columbia Hockey League in 2011-12, 50 full-tournament ticket packages are now on sale to BCHL season ticket holders for just $89, an average of just $7 per game. Once those 50 packages have been sold, packages will be available to BCHL season ticket holders for $119. Teams will release additional information to their season ticket holders, including how to purchase packages, in the coming days.
Ticket information for the general public will be released in late July.
“Canada’s Junior A leagues continue to develop elite players, and the 2011 World Junior A Challenge will be a terrific showcase for that talent,” said Bob Nicholson, president and CEO of Hockey Canada. “We are excited to work with the CJHL and the Township of Langley on this year’s World Junior A Challenge and continue the growth of the event.”
“We are thrilled to be bringing a world-class hockey tournament to the Township of Langley and the Langley Events Centre,” said Jared Harman, co-chair of the 2011 World Junior A Challenge host committee. “This is a tremendous opportunity for hockey fans in our community to watch Team Canada compete for gold in their own backyard.”
In addition to hosting the 2011 World Junior A Challenge, Langley and the surrounding area will host the Canada West and Canada East selection and training camps, as well as pre-tournament games in the days prior to the tournament.
For the first time, the CJHL Prospects Event will be held in conjunction with the World Junior A Challenge. The newly-combined event will be a unique opportunity for CJHL stars to showcase their talent on an international stage and simultaneously provide CJHL prospects an unprecedented audience of scouts from across North America.
The CJHL Prospects Event is a two-game total goal series between Team East and Team West that showcases the top 40 NHL draft-eligible players from Canada’s 10 Junior A leagues. Player selection is a joint initiative of the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting.
“The World Junior A Challenge is a world-class event and, together with the CJHL Prospects Event, will provide Junior A hockey’s best players and prospects with excellent exposure to scouts from all over the hockey community,” said Kirk Lamb, chairman of the CJHL. “The CJHL is happy to be back in British Columbia and looks forward to working with the NHL, Hockey Canada, BC Hockey, the Township of Langley and the local organizing committee.”
Since the first World Junior A Challenge in 2006 in Yorkton and Humboldt, Sask., more than 100 NHL draft picks have played in the tournament, including nine first-round selections (Joe Colborne, Nikita Filatov, Dmitri Kulikov, John Moore, Vladislav Namestnikov, Riley Nash, Dylan Olsen, Brendan Smith and Kyle Turris).
Langley joins Yorkton and Humboldt, Trail and Nelson, B.C. (2007); Camrose, Alta. (2008); Summerside, P.E.I. (2009) and Penticton, B.C. (2010) as host cities for the World Junior A Challenge.
Every gold medal game at the World Junior A Challenge has featured at least one Canadian team. Canada West won gold at the first two tournaments, in 2006 and 2007, before taking silver in 2008 and 2009. Canada East was silver medallists in 2006, 2007 and 2010 and claimed bronze in 2008.
For more information on the 2011 IIHF World Junior A Challenge, please visit www.HockeyCanada.ca/wjac, or follow along via social media at www.facebook.com/wjac or www.twitter.com/hc_wjac.