YARMOUTH, N.S. – Some of the world's top young hockey players have gathered in Yarmouth, N.S., for the 2012 World Junior A Challenge, which runs from Nov. 5-11 at the Mariners Centre.
The tournament opens Monday when Russia takes on the Czech Republic in the early game (4 p.m. AT), while Canada East meets the United States in the late game (7:30 p.m. AT). Canada West, the defending gold medallist, and Switzerland play their tournament openers on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
The 2012 World Junior A Challenge will follow the same format as previous years – the six teams will be separated into two groups of three teams. The group winners will receive an automatic bye to the semifinals, while the second-place and third-place teams will crossover for the quarter-finals.
The gold medal game, which will be shown nationally on TSN/RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, is set for Sunday, Nov. 11 (check your local listings). All preliminary round games, quarter-finals, semifinals and the bronze medal game can be seen live via webcast through FASTHockey at hockeycanada.fasthockey.com. Fans can watch all the action for free by following three steps:
STEP 1: Visit hockeycanada.fasthockey.com and sign up for a free FASTHockey account.
STEP 2: Like the World Junior A Challenge on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wjrac.
STEP 3: Just prior to the game, click the HC on FASTHockey link on the World Junior A Challenge Facebook page to watch.
In addition, the CJHL Prospects Games will be held in conjunction with the World Junior A Challenge. The two-game total goal series between Team East and Team West on Nov. 10-11 features the top 40 NHL draft-eligible players from Canada's 10 Junior A leagues and will be a unique opportunity to give CJHL prospects an unprecedented audience of scouts from across North America. Player selection is a joint initiative of the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting.
Single-game tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. AT tomorrow, Nov. 4, beginning at $15, online at www.hockeycanada.ca/tickets or at the box office at the Mariners Centre. For more information on tickets, including full-tournament packages, the World Junior A Weekend package and how to purchase, CLICK HERE.
The 2012 World Junior A Challenge marks just the second time in the tournament's seven-year history that it is being held east of Saskatchewan. Yarmouth joins Yorkton and Humboldt, Sask. (2006), Trail and Nelson, B.C. (2007), Camrose, Alta. (2008), Summerside, P.E.I. (2009), Penticton, B.C. (2010) and Langley, B.C. (2011) as host cities.
Since the first World Junior A Challenge in 2006 in Yorkton and Humboldt, Sask., more than 100 NHL draft picks have played in the tournament, including 18 first-round selections (Beau Bennett, Alexander Burmistrov, Joe Colborne, Nikita Filatov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Dmitri Kulikov, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Hampus Lindholm, John Moore, Vladislav Namestnikov, Riley Nash, Dylan Olsen, Jordan Schmaltz, Jaden Schwartz, Brendan Smith, Kyle Turris, Andrei Vasilevski and Nail Yakupov).
Every gold medal game at the World Junior A Challenge has featured at least one Canadian team. Canada West won gold at the first two tournaments, in 20, before taking the top prize last year; it also earned silver in 20. Canada East was silver medallist in 2006, 2007, 20, and claimed bronze in 2008.
Keegan Goodrich, Hockey Canada’s coordinator of media relations, and Jason La Rose, coordinator of content services, will be on-site during the 2012 World Junior A Challenge for any tournament information or media requests. Keegan can be reached at (403) 519-5754 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Jason can be reached at (403) 703-8791, or email@example.com.