Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League, announced Thursday the game schedule for the 2011 World Junior A Challenge, set for November 7-13 at the Langley Events Centre.
Making its debut at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge will be the Czech Republic, which will play in Group B with Canada East and Russia. The United States, three-time defending gold medallists, will play in Group A with Canada West and Sweden.
Canada East will be the first Canadian team to see action, taking on the Czech Republic in the tournament opener Monday, November 7, while Canada West will make its 2011 debut Tuesday, November 8 when it faces Sweden.
“With the addition of a top-tier international team like the Czech Republic, this year’s World Junior A Challenge is shaping up to be the most competitive in the tournament’s six-year history,” said Kirk Lamb, chairman of the Canadian Junior Hockey League. “Fans in Langley are in for a treat with the talent that will be on display at the Langley Events Centre this fall.”
“The profile of Junior A hockey is continuing to grow, and the World Junior A Challenge is a key component to that growth,” said Bob Nicholson, president and CEO of Hockey Canada. “Canada’s Junior A leagues are producing world-class players, and it will be exciting to watch them represent their country in Langley.”
This year, for the first time, the CJHL Prospects Games will be held in conjunction with the World Junior A Challenge. The two-game total goal series between Team East and Team West features the top 40 NHL draft-eligible players from Canada’s 10 Junior A leagues and will be a unique opportunity to give CJHL prospects an unprecedented audience of scouts from across North America. Player selection is a joint initiative of the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting.
Full-tournament 15-game ticket packages are now on sale, including tickets to all 13 games at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge and both CJHL Prospects Games, as well as a free souvenir tournament program, for only $150. To purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.
Single-game ticket information will be announced closer to the start of the 2011 World Junior A Challenge.
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 13 first-round selections (Beau Bennett, Alexander Burmistrov, Joe Colborne, Nikita Filatov, Dmitri Kulikov, Evgeny Kuznetsov, John Moore, Vladislav Namestnikov, Riley Nash, Dylan Olsen, Jaden Schwartz, Brendan Smith and Kyle Turris).
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 medallist in 2006, 2007 and 2010 and claimed bronze in 2008.
For more information on the 2011 World Junior A Challenge, please visit www.HockeyCanada.ca/wjac, or follow along via social media at www.facebook.com/wjrac or www.twitter.com/hc_wjac.