The International Ice Hockey Federation has announced the schedule for the inaugural World Junior Club Cup, scheduled for August 30th to September 4th, 2011 in Omsk, Russia.
The Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League will represent Canada and the Canadian Junior Hockey League at the inaugural tournament. The Oil Barons will join clubs from the Czech Republic, Belarus, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, and the United States. Each roster will be composed of twenty-two U21 players.
The eight teams will be divided into two groups for round-robin play, with the winner of each group advancing to the final. Canada will open the tournament on August 30th against Belarus, face Sweden on August 31st, followed by the Czech Republic on September 2nd. The final will be held on Saturday, September 3rd at the Arena Omsk, a 10,000 seat facility.
On July 1st, the Oil Barons will open up training camp to begin preparations for the tournament. “We’ve made it very clear that the top players are going to Russia whether they’re rookies or veterans,” said Oil Barons Coach Gord Thibodeau.
The Oil Barons recently added international experience to their bench with the hiring of Bjorn Kinding as an Associate Coach. Bjorn is originally from Goteborg, Sweden and has extensive experience on the international stage. His international resume includes being the Head Coach for the Danish National Team, Swiss National Team, Team Japan, and was Head Coach for Team Japan at the 1998 Nagano Olympics.