The Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League have been selected to represent Hockey Canada at the inaugural World Junior Club Cup, scheduled for August 30 to in Omsk, Russia.
The Oil Barons will join clubs from the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United at the tournament, which is an International Ice Hockey Federation-sanctioned event.
Fort McMurray made junior hockey history on , when it hosted the Drayton Valley Thunder in the Northern Classic, Canada’s first outdoor junior game, in front of an AJHL-record attendance of 5,726 fans.
“The Oil Barons are thrilled to be selected out of 135 Junior A teams across Canada to compete in the tournament,” said Andrew Boutilier, president of the Oil Barons. “Fort McMurray and the Oil Barons made history with the Northern Classic in November, and we hope to go to Omsk and come back with the trophy come September.”
“This tournament is a special and unique opportunity,” said Scott Smith, Hockey Canada’s chief operating officer. “Hockey Canada would like to thank the CJHL and the Fort McMurray Oil Barons for accepting this challenge – we have no doubt that the Oil Barons will represent Hockey Canada with pride and passion in Russia this summer.”
“The CJHL is proud to support the Fort McMurray Oil Barons and the first ever World Junior Club Cup. We look forward to working with Hockey Canada, the Russian Ice Hockey Federation and the IIHF on this inaugural event,” said Kirk Lamb, chairman of the CJHL. “The Oil Barons are one of the premier Junior A organizations in the country and we have no doubt that they will represent Hockey Canada, the CJHL and Canadian Junior A hockey with class.”
The Oil Barons have been one of the most successful Junior A teams in Canada in the last 15 years, winning the RBC Cup, Canada’s National Junior A Championship, as the host team in 2000, and claiming AJHL titles in 1997, 20. Fort McMurray has appeared in the AJHL final in five of the last eight seasons.