Calgary, AB – The four Western Provincial Hockey Associations – Hockey Alberta, BC Hockey, Hockey Manitoba and the Saskatchewan Hockey Association – in partnership with the Western Hockey League (WHL) are pleased to announce that the 2013 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup will take place October 31 – November 3, 2013 at the Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary, Alberta.
The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup will feature the highest rated players in the Under-16 age category representing the four Western Provinces of Alberta, BC, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup is made possible through financial support provided by the WHL. The majority of the players participating in the event were selected in the WHL Bantam Draft in May of 2013. Many of these top young prospects will play major roles on WHL Clubs in the seasons ahead.
“The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup will showcase the top ranked 15-year-old players from all four of the Western provinces,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “This is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence for these players, and this competition will provide an excellent opportunity to evaluate the top players in this age category.”
The first ever Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup was held in Blackfalds, Alberta in 2009 and featured four of the top eight players selected in the 2012 NHL Draft; Matt Dumba (Red Deer Rebels), Derek Pouliot (Portland Winterhawks), Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton Oil Kings) and Morgan Reilly (Moose Jaw Warriors). In 2011, the WHL, along with the Moose Jaw Warriors and Saskatchewan Hockey Association, hosted the event at Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. The event featured many future stars, including potential 1st round NHL Draft picks Jake Virtanen (Calgary Hitmen), and Haydn Fleury (Red Deer Rebels). Last year’s event saw Team BC, led by 2012 1st overall WHL Draft pick Mathew Barzal (Seattle Thunderbirds), capture the gold medal.
The Team Manitoba and Team Saskatchewan rosters will be released on Friday, October 4th, while Team B.C. and Team Alberta rosters will be released on Tuesday, October 15th.
The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup tournament will feature two games each day with the opening games scheduled for Thursday, October 31st. The Gold and Bronze Medal match ups will be featured on Sunday, November 3rd. All games will be played in Calgary, Alberta, at the Father David Bauer Arena with the finalized schedule to be released next week.