CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League, announced Wednesday the 22 players that will represent Canada West at the 2014 World Junior A Challenge, Dec. 14-20 at the West Central Events Centre in Kindersley, Sask.
Nine players from the AJHL are amongst those selected: Tommy Nixon (Sherwood Park), Connor James (Spruce Grove), Griffin Mumby (Canmore), Rhett Gardner (Okotoks), Ryley Risling (Canmore), Paul Lovsin (Spruce Grove), Mitchell Vanderlaan (Fort McMurray), Tyler Busch (Spruce Grove), and Cole Gammer (Sherwood Park).
The roster was chosen by Canada West head coach Trent Cassan (Yorkton, SJHL) along with assistant coaches Marc Berry (Dauphin, MJHL), Tim Fragle (Sherwood Park, AJHL) and Luke Pierce (Merritt, BCHL), and director of hockey operations Andrew Boutilier following a three-day selection camp at the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary.
Players named to the Canada West 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).
“There were no easy decisions for us coming out of selection camp; these 22 young men earned their spots on the Canada West roster,” said Cassan. “We’re excited to get on the road for Kindersley today and continue the proud tradition Canada West has created at the World Junior A Challenge.”
The Canada West roster for the 2014 World Junior A Challenge includes:
• two goaltenders, seven defencemen and 13 forwards;
• nine players from the AJHL, nine players from the BCHL, three players from the SJHL and one player from the MJHL;
• five players returning from the 2013 World Junior A Challenge (Dombrovskiy, Gardner, Hannoun, Keats, Nixon).
Canada West will play in Group B at the 2014 World Junior A Challenge, joined by Denmark and Russia, while Canada East, Switzerland and the United States will comprise Group A.
Preliminary round play will run until Tuesday, Dec. 16, with both semifinals taking place Thursday, Dec. 18. The gold medal game, which will be shown nationally on TSN/RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, is set for Saturday, Dec. 20 (check your local listings).
All preliminary round games, quarter-finals, semifinals and the bronze medal game can be seen live and free through FASTHockey webcasts at www.hockeycanada.ca/wjac.
Single-game tickets for the 2014 World Junior A Challenge will go on sale at 9 a.m. CT on Sunday, Dec. 14, at the box office at the West Central Events Centre, and online at www.hockeycanada.ca/wjac. Tickets are available for preliminary round games ($15), quarter-finals ($20), semifinals ($25), the bronze medal game ($25), and gold medal game ($30).
Full-tournament ticket packages, including tickets to all 13 games in Kindersley, are still available for only $225. To purchase ticket packages, please CLICK HERE.
Canada West has appeared in six of the eight 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 2012 in Yarmouth, N.S., won bronze last year in Yarmouth and finished fourth in 2010 in Penticton, B.C.
NOTE TO MEDIA: Jason La Rose, Hockey Canada’s manager of content services, will be on site in Kindersley, and will be the media contact for the 2014 World Junior A Challenge. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for any interview requests.