Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with the Western Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League today announced the six Canadian host centres for the 2016 CHL Canada Russia Series to be played November 7-17.
The six-game series features regional league teams of Canadian National Junior Team candidates competing against the Russian National Junior Team. For the third straight season the event will open with two games in the WHL, followed by two OHL matchups, and ending with a pair of contests hosted by the QMJHL.
Game 1 of the series takes place on Monday November 7 hosted by the Prince George Cougars, then shifts to Edmonton, AB, home of the WHL’s Oil Kings for Game 2 on Tuesday November 8. Prince George was host to Game 6 of the 2010 event where Russia emerged with a 5-2 victory, while Edmonton will host the event for the first time.
The OHL’s North Bay Battalion will host Game 3 on Thursday November 10, followed by Game 4 hosted by the Hamilton Bulldogs on Monday November 14. The series wraps up with Game 5 hosted by the QMJHL’s Baie-Comeau Drakkar on Tuesday November 16, with the Game 6 series finale to be played in Chicoutimi, QC, home of the Sagueneens on Thursday November 17.
“The rivalry between Canada and Russia is one of the greatest in hockey,” said CHL President David Branch.
“For the 14th straight season we look forward to bringing the CHL Canada Russia Series to communities across our country. This event annually showcases many of the league’s best players aiming for a spot on Canada’s National Junior Team in advance of the World Junior Championship which returns to Toronto and Montreal next winter.”
Since the event first began in 2003, CHL teams have played to an overall record of 54-18-6 against Team Russia. The competitiveness of the rivalry has grown in recent years with four of the last six series decided in the final game. Russia earned their first series victory in 2010 and have alternated annual series victories with the CHL who earned the 2015 title by a 12-3 margin in points.
The event is an integral part of the identification process for Team Canada prior to the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. Canada was represented at this season’s World Junior in Finland by 21 CHL players who competed in this series in 2015, while 13 members of Team Russia’s series entry also competed in Helsinki earning a second straight silver medal.
Four of the six CHL cities on the 2016 tour are first-time hosts including Edmonton, North Bay, Hamilton, and Baie-Comeau. Game 1 of the 2007 event was played in Chicoutimi in a contest won 6-4 by Team Russia.
All games will be broadcast nationally on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.
2016 CHL Canada Russia Series Schedule:
Game 1 – Monday November 7 at Prince George, BC
Game 2 – Tuesday November 8 at Edmonton, AB
Game 3 – Thursday November 10 at North Bay, ON
Game 4 – Monday November 14 at Hamilton, ON
Game 5 – Tuesday November 15 at Baie-Comeau, QC
Game 6 – Thursday November 17 at Chicoutimi, QC