November 15, 2013, Winnipeg, MB. (ISN) – Two members of the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings will be attending this year’s World Under 17 Challenge Cup in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
One day after having left-winger Braylon Shmyr selected to Team Pacific, the WHL club has learned that Moosomin product Jesse Gabrielle has been chosen to Team Western.
In ten games for the Wheat Kings this season, the 5’11” 201 lb left-winger has two assists and eleven minutes in penalties. In 12 career WHL games, Gabrielle has two assists and 18 penalty minutes.
A former fifth round bantam draft choice (100th overall) in 2012, Gabrielle enjoyed a stellar 2012-13 season as a member of Eagan High School in Minnesota. In 25 regular season games, he scored fifteen goals and 43 points.
Team Western is comprised of 22 players from the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Among the coaches for Team Western will be Wheat Kings Goaltending Coach Brent Zelenewich. A proven winner, Brent won a National Championship (RBC Cup) and several league championships. A 34-year old Winnipeg product, Zelenewich spent one season with the Brandon University hockey Bobcats, three at St. Mary’s University and four more in the professional ranks.
Team West will be coached by Dan Lambert Assistant Coach of the Kelowna Rockets (WHL) along with Assistant Coaches Kevin Hasselberg, 36, Head Coach/ General Manager of the Battlefords North Stars (SJHL), Josh Dixon, 30, Assistant Coach with the Regina Pats (WHL). Barrett Leganchuk, 30, Assistant Video Coach and video scout with the Winnipeg Jets. Rounding out the staff are Nicole Renneberg (SHA), who returns for a third year as the Athletic Therapist and Jamie Leblanc of the Swift Current Broncos (WHL) as the Equipment Manager.
The 2014 World U17 Hockey Challenge brings together the top players in the world born 1997 or later. The tournament is made up of 10 teams; five (5) from Canada – Quebec, Ontario, Pacific (Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Yukon), Atlantic (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island) and West (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nunavut) and five (5) international teams.
Team Western will be competing in Group A at the World U17 Hockey Challenge with Team Pacific, Team Quebec, Sweden and Czech Republic. Group B will comprise of Germany, USA, Team Ontario, Team Atlantic and Russia. Team Pacific will play an exhibition game against Russia on December 28, 2013 before they play their first preliminary round contest against Team Quebec on December 29, 2013.
Pulock, Hawryluk, Roy, Shmyr, Gabrielle and the Wheat Kings will close out a home and home series with the visiting Saskatoon Blades Friday night at Westman Place. Brandon takes a modest 2-game win streak into the weekend after opening up the series with a 5-2 victory in Saskatoon on Wednesday night.
Tickets to Friday night’s game – Rocky Mountain Equipment Team Poster Night – are on sale now at the Keystone Centre box office, by calling 726-3555 or online at wheatkings.com
For more information on Team Western and the World U17 Challenge visit www.hockeymanitoba.ca