Seven days, three cities, 13 games, one champion?
Canada West may have taken home the gold medal as champion of the inaugural World Junior A Challenge, but they were far from the only winners.
The host committees in both Yorkton and Humboldt, SK, along with the group in Canora, SK who put on the fifth-place game, deserve a huge thank you for the work they put in on the event.
Tournament co-chairs Dick DeRyk and Barry Shiells and their host committee, along with Humboldt co-chairs Lee Dufort and Neil Hruska, made the first-time event a rousing success and set the bar high for next year’s tournament in Trail and Nelson, BC.
The event would not have been possible without the support of the hundreds of volunteers, who worked long hours to ensure the 2006 World Junior A Challenge would be a success.
The fans in Yorkton, Humboldt and Canora were out in full force all week, showing their support for the game, and for the event. The gold medal game on November 12 drew close to 1,900 people at Farrell Agencies Arena, and crowds in all three arenas were strong throughout the week.
Special thanks also go to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and Manitoba Junior Hockey League towns who hosted the teams for training camps and hosted exhibition games leading up to the WJAC.
Nipawin, SK and Weyburn, SK hosted the training camps and pre-tournament games, while Melfort, SK, Estevan, SK, Esterhazy, SK, Brandon, MB, Dauphin, MB and Winkler, MB also hosted games in the days prior to the event.
The exhibition schedule showcased the SJHL and MJHL towns and teams, and the fans that follow those teams.
The final thank you goes to 16-year-old Morgan Mayer, who wowed crowds throughout the week with her breath-taking renditions of all five national anthems.
Morgan trained with a singing coach for a month prior to the tournament to learn the national anthems of Russia, Belarus, Germany and Slovakia, all in their native languages, along with Oh Canada.
If you’re a fan or a family member of a player looking for photos from the 2006 World Junior A Challenge, visit www.lamediadesign.com.