November 22, 2013, CALGARY, Alta. (ISN) – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced Friday the rosters of the five regional Canadian teams for the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Dec. 29, 2013 to Jan. 4, 2014 in Cape Breton, N.S.
Canada’s five regional teams are Atlantic (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island), Ontario, Pacific (Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Yukon), Quebec and West (Manitoba, Nunavut, Saskatchewan).
“The under-17 program is the foundation of the Program of Excellence, and this tournament is the first chance for up-and-coming players to showcase their skills in best-on-best competition,” said Scott Salmond, senior director of hockey operations/national teams with Hockey Canada. “It’s sure to be an exciting week in Cape Breton, with the future of the Canadian game on display.”
This will be the last year the tournament features five Canadian teams. Beginning with next season’s World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Canada will be represented by three national teams.
The 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge includes 10 teams, with the five from Canada joined by teams from the Czech Republic, Germany, Russia, Sweden and the United States. The teams are split into two groups, with each team playing four preliminary games before the playoff round.
International rosters will be announced closer to the start of the tournament.
The 27-game tournament will be centered out of Centre 200 in Sydney, N.S., and Emera Centre Northside in North Sydney, N.S., with the Civic Centre in Port Hawkesbury, N.S., hosting two preliminary round games and two placement games. Those three communities, along with Eskasoni, N.S., and Louisdale, N.S., will host pre-tournament games on Dec. 28.
The gold medal game will be held Jan. 4 at 5 p.m. AT/1 p.m. PT and will be shown on TSN/RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcasters. All other games at the tournament, including 20 preliminary round games, three placement games, both semifinals and the bronze medal game, will be available live through FASTHockey webcasts at www.hockeycanada.ca/wu17.
Ticket packages are now available in all three host communities – Sydney (12 games, $99), North Sydney (15 games, $99) and Port Hawkesbury (five games, $50). For more information on tickets, including how to purchase, CLICK HERE.
The 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will bring together the top players in the world born in 1997 or later. The regional under-17 program is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence. Many players who compete at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge go on to represent Canada with the National Men’s Under-18 Team, National Junior Team and National Men’s Team.
Since the first World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (then known as the Quebec Esso Cup) in 1986, more than 1,200 NHL draft picks have played in the tournament, including 10 of the last 13 first-overall selections (Ilya Kovalchuk, 2001; Rick Nash, 2002; Marc-André Fleury, 2003; Alexander Ovechkin, 2004; Erik Johnson, 2006; Patrick Kane, 2007; John Tavares, 2009; Taylor Hall, 2010; Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 2011; Nathan MacKinnon, 2013).