Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Junior A Hockey League (CJAHL), announced on Friday the six teams that will make up the field at the 2007 World Junior A Challenge, to be held November 4-11, 2007 in Trail and Nelson, BC.
“The City of Trail, the home of the 19 world hockey champions, along with the City of Nelson, who recently hosted the most successful Hockey Day in Canada yet, are energized and ready to host the 2007 World Junior A Challenge,” says Bruce LeRose, chair of the host committee. “The host committee is ready to welcome the world to the beautiful West Kootenays in November.”
Canada West and Canada East, the gold and silver medallists, respectively, at the 2006 World Junior A Challenge in Yorkton, SK, will be joined by 2006 entrants Slovakia, Germany and Belarus, as well as an entry from the United States.
“We are anxiously looking forward to this year’s event in Trail and Nelson,” says CJAHL president Laury Ryan, “and are excited to build upon the success that we had when this event launched last year in Yorkton. We feel that this is a special event for Junior A players and fans, and we are optimistic that the host committee in Trail will do a fantastic job.”
In addition, it was also announced that changes have been made to age classification for the 2007 event. Canada West and Canada East, along with the USA, Russia and Germany, will be 18-and-under teams, with a maximum of five 19-year-old players. The Belarus entry will be its National Under-20 Team.
“With the adjustments that we have made to the rosters as it pertains to the new age and player eligibility structure, we are confident that we have made a positive step forward in the level of competition in this event, “ says CJAHL chair Paul Lake. “We are optimistic that the new structure will bring a unique level of parity to the caliber of play. The inclusion of the United States in this tournament will be an exciting element for the players, coaches, and fans alike.”
Ticket information and the schedule for the 2007 World Junior A Challenge will be announced in the coming months.