BONNYVILLE, Alta. – Puck-drop on the 2018 World Junior A Challenge is just over six months away, but fans can lock in their attendance to this showcase of Canadian and international Junior A talent by being among the first to purchase ticket packages at early-bird prices.
As of 10 a.m. MT, a limited number of full-event ticket packages are available at HockeyCanada.ca/Tickets for the early-bird price of only $199 plus fees, while Bonnyville Pontiacs season-ticket holders can secure their 2018 World Junior A Challenge packages for as low as $149 (plus fees).
“The World Junior A Challenge is a very special event, and we’re excited to be able to offer these discounted prices to mark our ticket launch as we close in on the event’s start-date,” said Neil Langridge, co-chair of the 2018 World Junior A Challenge host committee, who added that full-priced packages will start at $225 plus fees after the early-bird packages sell out. “Our committee and volunteers, alongside Hockey Canada, have done tremendous work to-date, and today’s ticket launch is one more achievement as our town prepares to welcome fans and competing teams in December. We are looking forward to sharing more updates on our preparation in the months ahead.”
Bonnyville will host the World Junior A Challenge for the second time in three years at the R.J. Lalonde Arena Dec. 9-15, 2018. The host committee is looking to emulate the success of the 2016 edition, which was staged by nearly 150 volunteers from in and around the community. Historically, the event has delivered a regional economic impact of more than $3 million.
Kevin Saurette returns for Team Canada West, Chris Vanstone named to Team Canada East
The first Team Canada East and West staff members have been named for the event.
Kevin Saurette (Winnipeg/Manitoba Junior Hockey League) returns as director of operations for Team Canada West, having held that role with the 2017 World Junior A Challenge gold medallists. Saurette is director of operations for the MJHL, and has previously held similar roles for Hockey Manitoba’s Director’s Cup, where he was also head coach. His professional playing career spanned the United States (AHL and ECHL) and Europe (Germany and U.K.).
Team Canada East welcomes Chris Vanstone (Mississauga, Ont./Ontario Junior Hockey League) as its director of operations for 2018. Vanstone, who is currently the director of operations for the OJHL, joined Kunlun Red Star as general manager in advance of the team’s inaugural season in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, where it finished the season with a 2-1 overtime loss in the 2018 Clarkson Cup final to the league champions, the Markham Thunder. Prior to joining Kunlun, Vanstone was president of hockey operations and general manager of the OJHL’s Milton Icehawks. He has also held hockey operations and management roles with the Markham Waxers and Oakville Blades Junior A hockey clubs, and has scouted for Uptown Sports Management.
“The role of director of operations is a critical one for our Canadian teams, and we’re glad to have Kevin and Chris on board at this juncture as we build towards fleshing out not only the staff, but eventually also the players, who will be part of Team Canada East and Team Canada West,” said Brent Ladds, president of the CJHL. “We’ve had the pleasure of being hosted in Bonnyville in 2016, and we know the fans will be back and cheering on our Canadian teams again this year.”
The World Junior A Challenge is made possible thanks to the partnership between Hockey Canada, the CJHL, and NHL Central Scouting, and features two Canadian teams, representing East and West, as well as four international teams vying for a gold medal. Ten of the 12 gold-medal games at the World Junior A Challenge have featured at least one Canadian team. Team Canada West won gold at the first two tournaments, in 2006 and 2007, and also took home gold in 2011, 2015 and 2017. The team also won silver medals in 2008, 2009, and 2012, as well as bronze in 2013. Team Canada East won silver medals in 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2016, as well as claiming the bronze medal in 2008.
For more information on the World Junior A Challenge, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow along via social media on Facebook and Twitter.