CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), announced on Thursday the 22 players that will represent Canada East at the 2008 World Junior A Challenge, November 1-8 in Summerside, P.E.I.
Canada East has won a medal at all three previous World Junior A Challenges taking silver in 2006 in Yorkton, Sask., and 2007 in Trail, B.C., before winning bronze last year in Camrose, Alta.
The Canada East roster is comprised of players from the Central Canadian Hockey League (CCHL), Ontario Junior A Hockey League (OJAHL), Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL), Central Junior Hockey League (CJHL), Ligue de hockey junior AAA du Québec (LHJAAAQ) and Maritime Junior A Hockey League (MJAHL).
“We are very pleased with the players we have chosen to represent Canada East in Summerside,” said Canada East head coach Todd Gill (Brockville, CJHL), a 19-year NHL veteran. “This is the first chance Canada East has to play in front of its home fans and we think we have chosen the players who will bring Canada East its first gold medal.”
The selection process for Canada East involved extensive scouting by Gill, general manager Marty Abrams (Wellington, CCHL), assistant coaches Pat Bosch (Granby, LHJAAAQ), James Richmond (Georgetown, OJAHL) and Troy Ryan (Halifax, MJAHL) and head scout Jack Ferguson, and included three evaluation camps featuring 157 hopefuls; camps were held in Richmond Hill, Ont. (CCHL, OJAHL), Renfrew, Ont. (NOJHL, CJHL, LHJAAAQ) and Halifax, N.S. (MJAHL).
Canada East’s roster for the 2009 World Junior A Challenge includes:
• Two (2) goaltenders, seven (7) defensemen and 13 forwards
• Six (6) players currently leading or co-leading their teams in scoring (Andrew Calof – Nepean, Colin Campbell – Vaughan, Greg Carey – Burlington, Jacob Laliberte – Cornwall, Lucas Lessio – St. Michael’s, Jonathan Milley – Smiths Falls)
• One (1) player currently leading or co-leading their league in scoring (Greg Carey - CCHL)
• Three (3) players returning from the 2008 World Junior A Challenge (Scott Dawson, Jacob Laliberte, David Pratt)
• Eight (8) players from the CJHL, six (6) players from the CCHL, five (5) players from the OJAHL, one (1) player from the NOJHL, one (1) player from the LHJAAAQ and one (1) player from the MJAHL
Canada East will play in Group B at the 2008 World Junior A Challenge, joined by Belarus and the United States, while Canada West, Russia and Sweden will comprise Group B. Round-robin play will run until Thursday, November 3, with both semifinals taking place on Saturday, November 7.
The gold medal game, which will be shown nationally on TSN/RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, is set for Sunday, November 8 (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.