CALGARY, AB – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced on Thursday the rosters for the five Canadian teams for the 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, to in Port Alberni, BC. Partner venues in Campbell River, Courtenay, the Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo and Oceanside/Parksville will also host games.
Canada’s five regional teams are Pacific (Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Yukon), West (Manitoba, Nunavut, Saskatchewan), Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic ( New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island).
The 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge features 10 teams – the five from Canada are joined by teams from Finland, Germany, Russia, Slovakia and the United States. The teams are split into two groups, with each team playing four preliminary games before the playoff round. International team rosters will be announced closer to the start of the tournament.
The event brings together the top players in the world born in 1992 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.
“The players that will take to the ice on Vancouver Island are the cream of the crop of their age group,” said Al Murray, Hockey Canada’s head scout, men’s national teams. “This tournament gives scouts the first opportunity to see these players in a best-on-best situation, and evaluate them for future participation in the Program of Excellence.”