It's another feather in the cap of the BC Hockey League as it has the most players featured on the Canada West selection camp roster, which was announced yesterday.
Powell River leads the way with six players on the roster (Imoo, Burns, Leclerc, Ripley, Keats, Lukosevicius) while Penticton (Beauvais, Coulombe, Stoykewych), West Kelowna (Plant, Lloyd, Pope), Victoria (Dillon, McGuire, Meek) and Vernon (Blacklock, Wilson, Hannoun) are next with three each.
Merritt (Birks, Wight) has two players invited and Surrey (Dawson), Langley (Dombrovskiy), Prince George (Jenks), Cowichan (Cooper), Salmon Arm (Gillies), Coquitlam (Rockwood) and Nanaimo (Taylor) each feature one invitee on their rosters.
Trail, Alberni Valley, and Chilliwack are the lone BCHL teams to have a player invited to the camp.
Here's the official release from Hockey Canada:
Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League, announced Friday the 66 players that will attend the Canada West selection camp in preparation for the 2013 World Junior A Challenge.
The selection camp, scheduled for Oct. 26-30, will be held at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. The 66 players will be divided into four teams – Black, Gold, Red and White – and will play six intrasquad games, in addition to daily practices.
Players named to the Canada West selection camp roster were selected from the CJHL’s five western Junior A leagues: the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) and Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL).
The selection camp roster was chosen by Canada West head coach Jason McKee (Spruce Grove, AJHL), along with assistant coaches Trent Cassan (Yorkton, SJHL) and Ryan Smith (Selkirk, MJHL), and team manager Shawn Bullock (Hockey Canada).
“There is tremendous talent in Canada’s five western Junior A leagues, and it was a challenge to select only 66 to invite,” McKee said. “We’re excited for the potential of this group, and we can’t wait to get on the ice in Calgary and choose the 22 who will wear the red and white in Yarmouth.”
“As you can see by this list, there are a lot of excellent players in the five Western Junior A leagues,” said Kirk Lamb, president of the CJHL. “Canada West has experienced a tremendous level of success in the past, and competition for a position on a team that has a great chance to compete for gold in Yarmouth will be intense.”
The Canada West selection camp roster includes:
- six goaltenders, 24 defencemen and 36 forwards;
- 27 players from the BCHL, 23 players from the AJHL, seven players from the SJHL, six players from the MJHL, and three players from the SIJHL;
- seven players returning from the 2012 World Junior A Challenge (Imoo, Keats, Lloyd, Reeve, Ripley, Skip, Stoykewych);
- two players selected at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft (Pope – Detroit, 4th round, 109th overall; Birks – Pittsburgh, 6th round, 164th overall).
The 2013 World Junior A Challenge will be held Nov. 4-10 at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, N.S. Canada West will play in Group B, joined by the Czech Republic and Switzerland, while Canada East, Russia and the United States will comprise Group A.
Preliminary round play will run until Wednesday, Nov. 6, with both semifinals taking place Friday, Nov. 8. The gold medal game, which will be shown nationally on TSN/RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, is set for Sunday, Nov. 10 (check your local listings). All preliminary round games, quarter-finals, semifinals and the bronze medal game can be seen live via webcast through FASTHockey at hockeycanada.fasthockey.com.
Fans can now purchase a three-game ticket package that includes both of Canada East’s preliminary round games, against Russia on Nov. 4 and the U.S. on Nov. 6, as well as the gold medal game on Nov. 10, for $99 (plus applicable fees). Full-tournament packages, including all 13 games at the Mariners Centre, are available for $199 (plus applicable fees). For more information on tickets, including how to purchase, CLICK HERE.
Canada West has appeared in six of the seven gold medal games at the World Junior A Challenges, winning gold in 2006 in Yorkton, Sask., 2007 in Trail, B.C., and 2011 in Langley, B.C. It settled for silver in 2008 in Camrose, Alta., 2009 in Summerside, P.E.I., and last year, and finished fourth in 2010 in Penticton, B.C.