CALGARY, AB – Patrick McNeill, who was named on Friday morning to Canada’s Under-18 World Championship Team, suffered a shoulder injury during Canada’s first practice Friday morning in Brampton, ON and will not be able to participate at the 2005 IIHF World Under 18 Championship.
Team Canada Head Scout Blair Mackasey and the U18 coaching staff confirmed that Red Deer Rebels (WHL) defenceman Paul Kurceba will replace McNeill on Canada’s roster.
Kurceba, the 6’2, 180lbs native of Calgary, Alberta won a silver medal with Team Pacific at the 2004 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Kurceba just completed his second season in the WHL with the Red Deer Rebels, recording four goals and 14 assists along with 106 PIMs. In his rookie year in 2003-04, he recorded 3 goals and played in 13 playoff games for the Rebels.
Canada’s U-18 National Team will depart for the World Championship from Toronto on April 8th at 5:30pm. Canada’s Under-18 team will train in Switzerland from April 9-12th and play two exhibition games versus Switzerland and Finland prior to the start of the tournament in the Czech Republic. The team is comprised of players under 18 years old (born in 1987) whose teams are not playing in either the CHL, Junior A or collegiate playoffs.