Matt Gutsch – (ISN)

Hockey fans will get an early Christmas present when the University of Alberta Golden Bears, the most successful Canadian University men’s hockey program, takes on the national junior teams from Denmark and the Czech Republic on December 15, 16 and 18 at Clare Drake Arena.

Alberta, winners of a record 13 CIS championship titles, will see action against the Danish junior team on December 15th and 16th, and then against the Czech Republic on December 18th. All game times are 7:00 pm at Clare Drake Arena.

“With the world junior championship being held in Edmonton and Calgary, it made sense for us to play some international competition to keep our level of play where we want it to be over the Christmas break,” said first year head coach Stan Marple. “Both teams are coming in a little early so that they can shake off the jet lag with the best possible remedy by playing hockey. We’re a little more experienced and a little bigger than these teams, but both the Danish and Czech teams have lots of skill and are well coached, and I think all three games will be really good competition for both sides.”

Tickets go on sale November 7th, 2011, and will be available by phone at 780-492-BEAR (2327), online through, or on campus at the Activity Registration Zone, Lower Level, Van Vliet Centre.

Alberta is 32-15-1 all-time against international opponents, and at the 1988 Viking Cup in Camrose, Alta., the Golden Bears racked up three wins in games against junior selects from Finland, the USSR and the Czech Republic. Alberta last played international competition in 1997 when they recorded a 3-2 win over the Japanese national team.

The 2011-12 IIHF World Junior hockey championship takes place from December 26 to January 5 in both Edmonton and Calgary. Alberta’s capital city will host group ‘b’ preliminary play featuring Canada, Denmark, the Czech Republic, the USA and Finland.