CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey fans in Trenton and Wellington, Ont., will get an early look at some of the top talent of Canada’s 10 Junior A leagues when they host the three exhibition games of the 2015 World Junior A Challenge on Dec. 11.
The Wellington and District Community Centre, home of the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s (OJHL) Wellington Dukes, will host two exhibition games on Friday, Dec. 11; the first featuring the OJHL All Stars in a match-up against the Czech Republic at 3 p.m. ET, and the second featuring Team Canada East taking on the United States at 7 p.m.
In Trenton, Team Canada West will go head-to-head with Russia on Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET at the Duncan McDonald Memorial Gardens, home of the OJHL’s Trenton Golden Hawks.
“Trenton and Wellington are two of the top franchises in the OJHL, and are always working at bringing elite Junior A hockey to their communities and fans,” said Marty Savoy, OJHL commissioner. “Both communities are huge supporters of their clubs and of the OJHL.”
Tickets to the exhibition games can be purchased at the arena box offices in Wellington and Trenton beginning Nov. 9. Single-game tickets are $10 each, or $15 for the two Wellington games.
This year marks the 10th edition of the World Junior A Challenge – executed as part of a partnership between Hockey Canada and the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL). The event visits Ontario for the first time since its inception in 2006. Two Canadian teams and four international squads will form the two groups of three teams that face off Dec. 13-19 at the Cobourg Community Centre in Cobourg and the Iroquois Park Sports Centre in Whitby.
Full-tournament ticket packages, including the gold-medal game, for the 2015 World Junior A Challenge for either Cobourg or Whitby can be purchased through the Hockey Canada website.
Since the first World Junior A Challenge in 2006, more than 230 NHL draft picks have played in the tournament, including 32 first-round selections (Beau Bennett, Brock Boeser, Alexander Burmistrov, Joe Colborne, Kyle Connor, Nikolaj Ehlers, Nikita Filatov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Denis Guryanov, Dmitri Kulikov, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Elias Lindholm, Hampus Lindholm, John Moore, Vladislav Namestnikov, Riley Nash, Valeri Nichushkin, Dylan Olsen, David Pastrnak, Ilya Samsonov, Jordan Schmaltz, Nick Schmaltz, Jaden Schwartz, Brendan Smith, Evgeny Svechnikov, Vladimir Tarasenko, Kyle Turris, Alexander Wennberg, Andrei Vasilevski, Jakub Vrana, Nail Yakupov and Jakub Zboril).
Seven of the nine gold-medal games at the World Junior A Challenge have featured at least one Canadian team. Canada West won gold at the first two tournaments, in 2006 and 2007, and also took the top prize in 2011. The team also earned silver in 2008, 2009 and 2012, and won bronze in 2013. Canada East earned silver medals in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011, and claimed bronze in 2008.