CALGARY, Alta. – Forty-two of the top under-18 hockey players in the country will step on to the ice at Father David Bauer Olympic Arena in Calgary, Alta., starting Saturday with hopes of being selected for Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team.
The selection camp runs from July 30 to August 2, with hopefuls split into Red and White squads. The teams will take part in several practices and compete against each other in intersquad games on July 31, August 1 and August 2.
At the camp’s conclusion, head coach Steve Spott (Waterloo, Ont./Kitchener, OHL) and assistant coaches Mario Duhamel (St-Bruno, Que./Drummondville, QMJHL) and Don Nachbaur (Kitimat, B.C./Spokane, WHL), along with Kevin Prendergast, Hockey Canada’s head scout for the men’s Program of Excellence, will select 22 players for Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team to compete in the 2011 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Canada has won the last three gold medals at the tournament, and six of the last seven.
The camp roster includes 19 players from the Ontario Hockey League, 15 from the Western Hockey League, six from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, , one from the Central Canada Hockey League (Junior A) and one from the Ligue de hockey midget AAA du Québec. In total, 37 players (two goaltenders, 14 defencemen and 21 forwards) competed at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team is one of two men’s under-18 teams that Hockey Canada assembles during each season. A second men’s under-18 team will take part in the 2012 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in the Czech Republic in April 2012, and will be comprised of available players not involved in playoffs with their respective teams.
The under-18 program, along with the regional under-17 program and the national under-20 program, make up Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, which identifies, evaluates and develops players for international competition.
Keegan Goodrich, Hockey Canada’s coordinator of media relations, will be on site in Calgary for the selection camp. He will be handling all interview requests and can be reached at 403-519-5754 or firstname.lastname@example.org.