CALGARY, Alta. – Team Canada West has selected its final roster ahead of the 2019 World Junior A Challenge, and 22 players will wear the Maple Leaf in Dawson Creek, B.C., Dec. 7-15.
The players selected to represent Team Canada West participated in a three-day selection camp at the Markin MacPhail Centre at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. They were selected from the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s five western leagues - the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) and Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL).
The roster was selected by Team Canada West staff, led by head coach Joe Martin (Kingston, Ont./Alberni Valley, BCHL) and director of operations Jamie McCaig (Edmonton, Alta./Whitecourt, AJHL).
“After months of preparation and identifying players, it was great to gather in Calgary for a highly competitive camp and allow our players to compete for a spot on Team Canada West,” said McCaig. “We are excited to have our final roster selected, and our staff and players are excited for the opportunity to represent Canada and compete for a gold medal in Dawson Creek.”
Two players (Matthew Davis and Massimo Rizzo) will return to the Team Canada West line-up after winning bronze at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge in Bonnyville, Alta.
Of the 13 gold medal games at the World Junior A Challenge, 10 have featured at least one Canadian team. Team Canada West has won gold five times (2006, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017), silver three times (2008, 2009, 2012) and bronze twice (2013, 2018).
World Junior A Challenge faces off Dec. 7 in Dawson Creek
The World Junior A Challenge will head to Dawson Creek for the first time this weekend, as the city will welcome talent from four countries.
From Dec. 7-15, the teams – Team Canada East, Team Canada West, the Czech Republic, Russia and the United States – will compete in 14 games over eight days at the 4,500-seat Encana Events Centre.
“The City of Dawson Creek is excited to once again work with Hockey Canada and welcome the World Junior A Challenge to the Encana Events Centre for the first time, and to host the top Junior A talent in the world,” said Mayor Dale Bumstead. “We look forward to welcoming the world back to Dawson Creek, and I know our local host committee and volunteers are working hard to ensure the 2019 World Junior A Challenge is a world-class event for everyone involved.”
Team Canada East will open the tournament against Russia on Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. MT, followed by Team Canada West taking on the United States at 7 p.m. MT. A variety of ticket packages, including two- and four-game packs, are available for purchase starting as low as $40 plus fees at HockeyCanada.ca/Tickets or at the Tiger Box Office Plus at the Encana Events Centre.
TSN and RDS, the official broadcast partners of Hockey Canada will air the bronze and gold medal games on Sunday, Dec. 15; please check local listings for details. All other games will be streamed live at HockeyCanada.ca/WJAC.
Prior to the start of play, the teams will take to the ice for pre-tournament games in three surrounding communities on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. MT. The United States will take on Team Canada East the Chetwynd Rec Centre in Chetwynd, B.C., Russia will face off against Team Canada West at North Peace Arena in Fort St. John, B.C., and the Grande Prairie Storm of the Alberta Junior Hockey League will match up against the Czech Republic at Revolution Place in Grande Prairie, Alta.
For more information on the 2019 World Junior A Challenge, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow along via social media on Facebook or Twitter.