2014 WORLD UNDER-17 HOCKEY CHALLENGE BEGINS SUNDAY IN SARNIA AND LAMBTON SHORES, ONT.
(ISN) – SARNIA, Ont. – The first puck is ready to drop at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. All eight teams will take to the ice for pre-tournament action Friday night before the tournament begins Sunday.
The 24-game tournament will be centered out of the RBC Centre in Sarnia, Ont., but will also feature games at The Shores Recreation Centre in Lambton Shores, Ont. Both communities, along with Petrolia, Ont., and Watford, Ont., will host pre-tournament games tonight.
The eight teams vying for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge gold medal are divided into two groups. Group A will feature Canada Black, Canada White, Finland and Russia, while Canada Red, Slovakia, Sweden and the United States will comprise Group B.
The gold medal game will be held Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT and will be shown on TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcasters, along with the bronze medal game and both semifinals. All other games at the tournament, including 12 preliminary round games, four quarter-finals and two placement games, will be available live through FASTHockey webcasts at www.hockeycanada.ca/wu17.
Ticket packages are still available in both host communities – Sarnia (12 games, $215) and Lambton Shores (11 games, $185). Lambton Shores package holders can add tickets to the bronze medal game and gold medal game in Sarnia for an additional $60. For more information on tickets, including how to purchase, CLICK HERE.
The event brings together the top players in the world born in 1998 or later. The 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.
This year’s tournament will be the first to feature three Canadian national teams – Black, Red and White. From 1986 to 2014, Canada was represented by five regional teams: Atlantic, Ontario, Pacific, Quebec and West.
Since the first under-17 tournament (then known as the Quebec Esso Cup) in 1986, more than 1,300 NHL draft picks have played, including 11 of the last 14 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; Aaron Ekblad, 2014).