SAINT JOHN AND QUISPAMSIS, N.B.
– The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge – an international showcase of some
of the best young hockey talent in the world – will kick off with a
primetime Canada-Russia match-up on opening day when it returns to New
Brunswick in the fall of 2018. Saint John and Quispamsis will co-host the
tournament scheduled to run Nov. 3-10, 2018.
Team Canada Red will meet Russia on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the qplex at 7:30
p.m. AT, following the tournament-opener at 3:30 p.m. between Finland and
“We think having Team Canada Red take on Russia in a standalone game on
Saturday evening is the perfect way to start the tournament,” said Aaron
Kennedy, chair of the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge host organizing
committee. “As we all know, Canada and Russia have had a long-standing
rivalry in international hockey dating back to the early 1970s, and a
Canada-Russia match-up is always a fan-favourite.”
The 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge represents a partnership between
Hockey Canada, Hockey New Brunswick, and the Canadian Hockey League, as
well as the City of Saint John, the Town of Quispamsis, and the Saint John
Sea Dogs of the QMJHL.
Moncton hosted the event in 1995 before it transitioned to its present-day
format featuring three Canadian teams (Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red,
and Team Canada White) and five international teams.
The eight-team tournament will be co-hosted at the qplex in Quispamsis, and
Harbour Station in Saint John. Attention will turn to Saint John on Sunday,
Nov. 4, when the United States opens defence of its 2017 title against the
Czech Republic at noon, followed by an all-Canada match-up as Team Canada
Black faces off against Team Canada White at 4 p.m. AT.
Special recognition events are planned throughout the tournament, including
a nod to the Canadian Armed Forces at the Nov. 4 Canada game. The group has
also confirmed four pre-tournament games will take place on Thursday, Nov.
1, featuring Team Canada Black and Finland; Sweden taking on the Czech
Republic; Team Canada White and Russia; and Team Canada Red facing the
United States. Details on times, locations, and tickets for the
pre-tournament games will be announced at a later date.
“The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge is just as exciting today as it was
when the province last hosted its predecessor back in 1995 – perhaps even
more so under its new format,” said Nic Jansen, executive director of
Hockey New Brunswick. “A tremendous amount of work has happened already to
showcase not only the top international hockey talent that will be on the
ice in Saint John and Quispamsis, but also the world-class event-hosting
capabilities of the province of New Brunswick. I look forward to seeing
hockey fans from across the surrounding communities come out to support
these teams, and show off the best of our province’s hospitality.”
tournament schedule has been developed to allow fans who purchase a week-long pass, available
online or at the Harbour Station box office for as low as $99, to catch 17 of the
22 tournament games. A limited number of tournament passes are available
“The local organizing committee, led by Aaron as its chair, has been
working diligently to put together a very special event for not only the
players, staff, and fans of the eight participating teams, but for all of
the hockey fans in Saint John, Quispamsis, and the surrounding
communities,” said Jeff Beck, senior manager of events and properties for
Hockey Canada. “This event truly is a showcase of the best hockey talent in
this age group internationally, and fans have a lot to look forward to this
Since the first World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (previously known as the
Quebec Esso Cup) in 1986, more than 1,600 NHL draft picks have played in
the tournament, including 13 of the last 17 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; Nathan McKinnon, 2013; Aaron
Ekblad, 2014; Connor McDavid, 2015; and Auston Matthews, 2016.
The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge was last held in New Brunswick 23 years
ago, and featured three current NHL players – San Jose Sharks centre Joe
Thornton; left-winger Patrick Marleau of the Toronto Maple Leafs; and
Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo. The trio was selected first,
second, and fourth, respectively, in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.
Recent editions of the event have resulted in a local economic boost to the
host-regions of as much as $6 million.
For more information on the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, please visit
HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook or Twitter.