LETHBRIDGE, AB – Lethbridge, Alberta is in the final preparations to host the 2005 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge from December 29 – .
The ten-team international Hockey Challenge is made up of five Canadian regional teams. Team Pacific (made up of players from British Columbia, North West Territories, Yukon and Alberta), Team Western (made up of players from Saskatchewan, Nunavut and Manitoba), Team Atlantic (made of players from Newfoundland, Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia), Team Ontario and Team Quebec are made up of players from their respective provinces. The five international teams are representing the United States, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Finland, and Germany.
The 27-game event will be played at two venues in Lethbridge, AB, the Enmax Centre and Nicholas Sheran Arena. The gold medal game will be played at the Enmax Centre, 8:00pm (MT) and will be televised (taped delayed on January 5th) on TSN (check local listings).
The World Under-17 Challenge is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, which identifies coaches and players for Canada’s Under-18 and World Junior Championship teams. Seventeen of Canada’s 22 players at the 2005 IIHF World Junior Championship played at previous Under-17 events.
Notable players to participate in previous World Under-17 Hockey Challenges include: Rick Nash (Columbus), Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh), Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta), Vincent Lecavalier (Tampa Bay), Joe Thornton (Boston), Roberto Luongo (Florida), Patrick Marleau (San Jose), Scott Gomez (New Jersey), and Eric Brewer (Edmonton).
This year’s tournament statistics will be tracked again with the Real Time Stats program. To get “real time” scores, game summaries, schedules, rosters, and general tournament information, go to Hockey Canada’s official web site at www.hockeycanada.ca.
Tickets are available for the 2005 World Under-17 Challenge in Lethbridge by calling (403) 329-SEAT (7328) or online at www.lethbridge.ca/Tickets