CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced Wednesday 20 players that will comprise Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World U18 Championship, set for April 12-22 in Brno and Znojmo, Czech Republic. Up to three additional players will be added prior to the start of the tournament.
The roster includes players born in 1994 or earlier whose teams are no longer competing in the CHL playoffs with their respective club teams. Many of Canada’s players named today will be among the top selections at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh, Pa., in June.
Canada’s coaching staff – head coach Jesse Wallin and assistant coaches Gordie Dwyer and Todd Gill – collaborated with Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations/national teams, Shawn Bullock, Hockey Canada’s manager of hockey operations/national teams and Kevin Prendergast, Hockey Canada’s head scout for the men’s Program of Excellence, to finalize the roster.
“As a coaching staff we are looking forward to getting together with the players we have chosen and working towards our goal of a gold medal for Canada,” said Wallin. “A number of these players have previous international experience, and that will prove invaluable in the Czech Republic.”
Canada’s roster includes 10 players from the Ontario Hockey League, seven players from the Western Hockey League and three players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Six players helped Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team capture the gold medal at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in August 2011 in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Canada’s roster also includes 10 players who took part in the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Winnipeg and Portage la Prairie, Man., and four players who competed at the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Windsor, Ont.
The support staff for Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team has also been announced. Chris Chisamore (Calgary, Alta./Lethbridge, WHL) has been named the team’s video coordinator, Kevin Elliott (Charlottetown, P.E.I./P.E.I., QMJHL) is the team’s athletic therapist, Jamie LeBlanc (Saint John, N.B./Swift Current, WHL) is the team’s equipment manager, Roger Castle (Niagara Falls, Ont./Edmonton, WHL) will serve as the team’s education consultant and Dr. Tim Rindlisbacher (St. Clair Beach, Ont./Mississauga St. Michael’s, OHL) will be the team’s doctor while in the Czech Republic.
Canada is a two-time gold medallist at the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, earning gold in 20. It finished fourth at the 2011 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Crimmitschau and Dresden, Germany.
The team will gather in Toronto, Ont., on Wednesday, April 4 before flying to Europe on April 6. Team Canada has one on-ice session at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto, at 11 a.m. ET on April 5, before departing for the Czech Republic. The coaches and players will be available to the media following the team’s practice.
Prior to the world championship, Canada will play two pre-tournament games: April 8 vs. Germany in Prague, and April 9 vs. the Czech Republic in Brno.
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The 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship opens for Canada on April 12 in Brno when it takes on Denmark. The Canadians will also face the Czech Republic, Finland and the United States in the preliminary round.
TSN/RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, will broadcast Canada’s final preliminary round game against the United States on Tuesday, April 17, as well as both semifinals on Friday, April 20 and the bronze and gold medal games on Sunday, April 22. Check your local listings for game times in your area.
For more information on Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team and the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, visit www.hockeycanada.ca.
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