CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with Hockey Nova Scotia, announced Friday that Cape Breton, N.S., will host the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge from Dec. to Jan.. This will mark the second time in the 28-year history of the tournament that it will be held in Nova Scotia.
The 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will follow the same format as previous years – five Canadian entries (Atlantic, Ontario, Pacific, Quebec, West) will be joined by five international teams, with two groups of five teams. The top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinals, while the remaining three teams from each group will cross over for placement games.
The 27-game tournament will be centered out of Centre 200 in Sydney, N.S., home of the QMJHL’s Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, but will feature games in partner venues. The tournament host committee is currently working with communities in the Cape Breton area to determine which will host satellite games.
Ticket information and the schedule for the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will be released in the coming months.
“The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, as the first step of the Program of Excellence, is one of Hockey Canada’s most important events,” says Bob Nicholson, president and CEO of Hockey Canada. “We have no doubt Cape Breton will do a first-class job in hosting the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in 2014.”
“We could not be more excited to host the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge,” said Eric MacRae, chair of the host committee. “We cannot wait to showcase Cape Breton to the world and make it a memorable experience for players, coaches, scouts and fans. With the tremendous volunteer base we have, combined with our world-class facilities and Maritime hospitality, we’re confident we will do Hockey Canada and all Nova Scotians proud come December.”
Cape Breton joins Truro and New Glasgow (2001) as Nova Scotia hosts of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Since the first World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (then known as the Quebec Esso Cup) in 1986, more than 1,200 NHL draft picks have played in the tournament, including nine of the last 12 first-overall selections (Ilya Kovalchuk, 2001; Rick Nash, 2002; Marc-André Fleury, 2003; Alexander Ovechkin, 2004; Erik Johnson, 2006; Patrick Kane, 2007; John Tavares, 2009; Taylor Hall, 2010; Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 2011).
The 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will bring together the top players in the world born in 1997 or later. The regional 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.
For more information on the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca/wu17, and follow along through social media at www.facebook.com/worldu17 and www.twitter.com/hc_wu17.