(ISN) – ZUG, Switzerland – The puck is set to drop on the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team playing its opening game against Latvia on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. ET/6:30 a.m. PT.
In preliminary round action, Canada also plays Switzerland on April 18, the Czech Republic on April 19 and Finland on April 21. Quarter-finals are scheduled for April 23, semifinals are set for April 25, and the gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded April 26.
All of Canada’s games at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship will be shown on TSN and RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada. Check local listings for broadcast times.
Canada has added two players to its roster for the world championship, under-age forwards Tyler Benson (Edmonton, Alta./Vancouver, WHL) and Brett Howden (Oakbank, Man./Moose Jaw, WHL).
The roster now includes two goaltenders, seven defencemen and 10 forwards. Ten players (Barzal, Bear, Beauvillier, Brisebois, Harkins, J. Roy, N. Roy, Sawchenko, Spencer and Stephens) won a gold medal with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2014 U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in the Czech Republic and Slovakia last August, and one (Barzal) won bronze at last year’s IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship.
Four under-age players who travelled to Switzerland to participate in pre-tournament games (Dubois, Kyrou, McLeod, Skinner) will remain with the team, but have not been added to the tournament roster. Decisions on the remainder of Canada’s roster will be made during the current round of the Canadian Hockey League playoffs.
Head coach Tim Hunter announced Wednesday that forward Mitchell Stephens (Peterborough, Ont./Saginaw, OHL) will serve as Canada’s captain at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, joined on the leadership group by alternate captains Mathew Barzal (Coquitlam, B.C./Seattle, WHL) and Guillaume Brisebois (St-Hilaire, Que./Acadie-Bathurst, QMJHL).
Canada played two pre-tournament games, blanking Slovakia 5-0 on Monday before earning a 6-5 shootout win over Germany on Tuesday. Both games were played at Bossard Arena in Zug, where Canada will be based for the preliminary round.
Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team has won three gold medals the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, in 2003, 2008 and 2013, along with one silver (2005) and two bronze (2012, 2014).