Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League, announced Tuesday that Yarmouth, N.S., will host the 2013 World Junior A Challenge from November 4-10, 2013.
This will mark the second year in a row the tournament will be held in Yarmouth, the first time in the eight-year history of the event it will be held in the same city in back-to-back years, and the first time a city will host the tournament more than once.
The 2013 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-place and third-place teams will crossover for the quarter-finals. The 2013 World Junior A Challenge will be based out of the Mariners Centre, home of the MHL’s Yarmouth Mariners, with surrounding communities also hosting games.
Ticket information for the 2013 World Junior A Challenge will be announced in the coming months.
“The host committee in Yarmouth did a fantastic job hosting last year’s World Junior A Challenge, and we could not be more excited to be returning this November,” said Bob Nicholson, president and CEO of Hockey Canada. “Our goal is to grow this event and grow the profile of Canada’s Junior A leagues, and we’re looking forward to showcasing elite talent on the ice in Yarmouth in the fall.”
“The 2012 World Junior A Challenge was one of the best ever thanks to Yarmouth's exceptional community leaders and volunteers,” said Kirk Lamb, president and chairman of the Canadian Junior Hockey League. “Yarmouth is home of one of Canada's strongest Junior A franchises and we are thrilled to be returning for 2013.”
“The return of the World Junior A Challenge is a significant win for Yarmouth and an exciting opportunity to showcase Nova Scotia as a world-class destination,” said Sterling Belliveau, minister of fisheries and aquaculture. “Hosting major events like these helps grow our economy and attract more visitors to the province to help build Nova Scotia’s $2 billion tourism industry.”
“It was an absolute pleasure to welcome some of the best young hockey players from around the world last November for the World Junior A Challenge, and we’re thrilled Hockey Canada has selected us to do it again,” said Mitch Bonnar, chair of the 2013 World Junior A Challenge host committee. “The people of Yarmouth could not have been more supportive of last year’s tournament, and we’re going to make sure the 2013 event is even bigger and better than before.”
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 18 first-round selections (Beau Bennett, Alexander Burmistrov, Joe Colborne, Nikita Filatov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Dmitri Kulikov, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Hampus Lindholm, John Moore, Vladislav Namestnikov, Riley Nash, Dylan Olsen, Jordan Schmaltz, Jaden Schwartz, Brendan Smith, Kyle Turris, Andrei Vasilevski and Nail Yakupov).
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 the top prize in 2011; it also earned silver in 2008, 2009 and last year. Canada East was silver medallist in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011, and claimed bronze in 2008.
Yarmouth joins Yorkton and Humboldt, Trail and Nelson, B.C. (2007); Camrose, Alta. (2008); Summerside, P.E.I. (2009), Penticton, B.C. (2010) and Langley, B.C. (2011) as host cities for the World Junior A Challenge.