WINNIPEG, Man. – The first puck is ready to drop at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. All 10 teams will take to the ice for pre-tournament action on Tuesday night before the tournament begins on Wednesday.
The 10 teams are divided into two groups. Group A will feature Atlantic (New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island), Finland, Germany, Quebec and the United States, while the Czech Republic, Ontario, Pacific (Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Yukon), Slovakia and West (Manitoba, Nunavut, Saskatchewan) will comprise Group B.
The gold medal game on Tuesday, January 4 will be broadcast on TSN/RDS, the official broadcaster of Hockey Canada. In addition, all games at the MTS Iceplex in Winnipeg and the PCU Centre in Portage la Prairie, as well as both semifinals and the bronze medal game at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, will be available via webcast for $7 per game through FASTHockey at hockeycanada.fasthockey.com.
The 27-game tournament will be centered out of Winnipeg and Portage la Prairie, but will feature exhibition games in three partner communities – Morden, Morris and Steinbach.
The event brings together the top players in the world born in 1994 or later. The under-17 program is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence. Many players who compete at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge go on to represent Canada with the National Men’s Under-18 Team, National Junior Team and National Men’s Team.
Seventeen of the 22 players who were selected for Canada’s National Junior Team and are currently playing in the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y. played at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and alumni of the tournament include Rick Nash, Marc-André Fleury, Alexander Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Vincent Lecavalier, Patrick Kane, John Tavares and Taylor Hall.
Tickets are available for all games in Winnipeg and Portage la Prairie. For more information on tickets for the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, CLICK HERE.
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