CALGARY, AB – Hockey Canada announced on Friday that the Thunder Bay Bombers are set to represent Canada at the 2006 Hungarian (Pannon PSM) Cup that will be held February 10-12th, 2006 in Budapest, Hungary and will feature four National Teams: Canada, Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia. Thunder Bay earned the right to represent Canada by capturing the 2005 Allan Cup, Canada’s Senior Men’ Hockey Championship in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan in April, 2005.
TEAM CANADA’S GAME SCHEDULE:
DATE GAME TIME(Local) TIME (ET)
Feb. 10 CANADA vs CROATIA 15:.00 7:00
Feb. 11 CANADA vs SLOVENIA 18:00 10:00
Feb. 12 CANADA vs HUNGARY 11:30 3:30
Several players on Thunder Bay’s 22-man roster have experience in the minor professional ranks, including the American Hockey League and European professional leagues. The roster also includes a number of players who have played either university hockey in Canada or the United States, or major junior and junior ’A’ hockey in Canada.
Click here for Canada’s Roster for the 2006 Hungarian Cup
Among the most notable players are former NHL draft picks, defenceman and team captain Jeff Ricciardi drafted in 1991 by Winnipeg (8, 159), forward Jason Firth drafted in 1991 by Detroit (10, 208), and defenceman Barry McKinlay drafted in 1987 by Montreal, (10, 206).
Ricciardi played eight years in Europe, from 1997-2004) playing six years in the German Elite League (1997-02) and two years in Italy (2002-04). He has played over 650 games as a professional hockey player.
Firth is the all-time leading scorer in the history of the United Hockey League. He was named UHL Most Valuable Player on three different occasions (1992-93, 1997-98, 1998-99). He was also the UHL Rookie of the Year in 1992-93.
McKinlay meanwhile is the all-time UHL leader among defenceman in points, goals, assists, and holds the record for single season assists and points. He was named the Top Defenseman in the UHL three times.
Thunder Bay is coached by Vern Ray. He has previous coaching experience with the Thunder Bay Flyers Junior team as well as the Thunder Bay Kings AAA midget team. He was a defenceman in the Ontario Hockey League as well as in the United and Central Hockey Leagues and was a member of numerous championship teams in each league.