CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada announced on Tuesday the rosters of the five Canadian teams for the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, to in Winnipeg and Portage la Prairie, Man.
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 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge features 10 teams – the five from Canada are joined by teams from Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, 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 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.
Since the first tournament in 1986, more than 1,100 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge alumni have heard their names called at the NHL Entry Draft. Last year, eight of the top 10 picks, and 20 first-rounders overall, were products of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
“This is an important tournament for young players, as it is their first opportunity to impress scouts in best-on-best competition,” said Kevin Prendergast, Hockey Canada’s head scout for the men’s Program of Excellence. “Hockey fans in Manitoba can expect the cream of the crop from this age group to be on the ice in Winnipeg and Portage la Prairie.”
The gold medal game, which will be shown nationally on TSN/RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, is set for Tuesday, January 4 (check your local listings). All preliminary round games, semifinals and the bronze medal game can be seen live via webcast through FASTHockey at hockeycanada.fasthockey.com for just $7 per game.
Full ticket packages are available for both Winnipeg and Portage la Prairie. In Winnipeg, a 16-game package, which includes both semifinals and both medal games, is available for $268, while a 13-game package in Portage la Prairie is on sale for $197. In addition, a Winnipeg medal round package, which includes both semifinals and both medal games, is available as an add-on to the Portage la Prairie package for $88.
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