VICTORIAVILLE, Que. – The first puck is ready to drop at the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. All 10 teams took to the ice for pre-tournament action Friday night before the tournament begins Saturday.
The 27-game tournament will be centred out of the Colisée, home of the QMJHL’s Victoriaville Tigres, and Centre Marcel-Dionne, home of the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs. In addition, three communities – Nicolet, Plessisville and Saint-Pierre-les-Bécquets - will host pre-competition games along with Victoriaville and Drummondville on Friday night.
The 10 teams are divided into two groups. Group A will feature Finland, Pacific (Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Yukon), Russia, Sweden and West (Manitoba, Nunavut, Saskatchewan), while Atlantic (New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island), Ontario, Quebec, Slovakia and the United States will comprise Group B.
The gold medal game will be held Jan. 4 at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT and will be shown on TSN/RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcasters. All other games at the tournament, including 20 preliminary round games, three placement games, both semifinals and the bronze medal game, will be available through FASTHockey at hockeycanada.fasthockey.com. Fans can watch all the action for free by following three steps:
STEP 1: Visit hockeycanada.fasthockey.com and sign up for a free FASTHockey account.
STEP 2: Like the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge on Facebook at www.facebook.com/worldu17.
STEP 3: Just prior to the game, click the HC on FASTHockey link on the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge Facebook page to watch.
Single-game tickets are now available for the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge for just $14 for preliminary round games, $16 for semifinals and $17 for medal games. In addition, 13-game packages on sale in both Victoriaville and Drummondville for just $125, along with a flex package that includes 25 tickets to any games in either city, excluding medal games, for $250. For more information on tickets, including how to purchase, CLICK HERE.
The event brings together the top players in the world born in 1996 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.
Nineteen of the 23 players who were selected for Canada’s National Junior Team and are currently playing in the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia, played at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and alumni of the tournament include past NHL first-overall picks Marc-André Fleury, Taylor Hall, Erik Johnson, Patrick Kane, Ilya Kovalchuk, Vincent Lecavalier, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Alexander Ovechkin, John Tavares and Joe Thornton.