BOBRUISK, Belarus – Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team has arrived in Bobruisk, Belarus, where it will take part in the 2010 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, which runs from April 13-23. Canada finished fourth at last year’s world championship in Fargo, N.D. and Moorhead, Minn., and last won U18 gold at the 2008 tournament in Kazan, Russia.
Canada opens the tournament on Tuesday against Switzerland, and will also face Belarus, Sweden and the United States in Group A preliminary-round action in Bobruisk. The Czech Republic, Finland, Latvia, Russia and Slovakia comprise Group B. The semifinals are set for Wednesday, April 21, with the bronze medal and gold medal games scheduled for Friday, April 23. All medal-round games will take place in Minsk.
National Men’s Under-18 Team head coach Guy Carbonneau has announced that defenceman Erik Gudbranson (Orleans, Ont./Kingston, OHL) will be Canada’s captain at the 2010 IIHF World Under-18 Championship. Gudbranson is one of three players on Canada’s roster, along with forwards John McFarland (Richmond Hill, Ont./Sudbury, OHL) and Brett Connolly (Prince George, B.C./Prince George, WHL) who played for Canada as underaged players at the 2009 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
In addition, McFarland and forwards Jordan Weal (North Vancouver, B.C./Regina, WHL) and Gabriel Desjardins (Montreal, Que./Halifax, QMJHL) will serve as alternate captains. McFarland will wear the ‘A’ during all games, while Weal will be an alternate when Canada wears its red jerseys, and Desjardins when Canada wears white.
Canada took part in one pre-tournament game after arriving in Belarus, losing 5-4 to Finland on Friday in Minsk. McFarland led the way with a hat trick, while Ryan Spooner (Kanata, Ont./Peterborough, OHL) scored Canada’s other goal. Ryan Murray (White City, Sask./Everett, WHL), the lone 1993-born player on Canada’s roster, added two assists.
Canada's roster includes 13 players from the Ontario Hockey League, seven (7) players from the Western Hockey League and two (2) players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Eleven (11) players helped Canada's National Men's Summer Under-18 Team capture the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in August 2009 in the Czech Republic.
NOTE TO MEDIA:
TSN/RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, will broadcast Canada’s final preliminary-round game against Sweden on Sunday, April 18, as well as a quarter-final on Tuesday, April 20, a semifinal on Wednesday, April 21 and the gold medal game on Friday, April 23. The bronze medal game on April 23 will also be broadcast if Canada plays for bronze. Check your local listings for game times in your area.