The Western Hockey League, in partnership with BC Hockey, Hockey Alberta, Saskatchewan Hockey Association, Hockey Manitoba and Hockey Canada, announced today the tournament schedule and ticketing information for the freshly rebranded 2017 WHL Cup, which will begin Wednesday, October 18, at the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary, Alta.
The WHL Cup, formerly known as the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup, features the highest-rated players in the under-16 age category from the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
The tournament will take place from Wednesday, October 18 through Sunday, October 22. Round robin action begins Wednesday with Team Manitoba facing Team BC (3 p.m. MT) and Team Alberta taking on Team Saskatchewan (6:30 p.m. MT).
The semifinal format for the 2017 WHL Cup will pit the first-place branch versus the fourth-place branch and the second-place branch against the third-place branch. In previous years, only one semifinal game was played while the first-place team from round-robin play was granted a bye into the gold medal game and the fourth-place team was automatically sent to the bronze medal game.
The 2017 WHL Cup will conclude Sunday, October 22, with the gold medal game beginning at 1:30 p.m. MT.
Early Bird Ticket Information
Early bird tournament passes featuring all nine games are now on sale until October 17 at a discounted rate of $30 per pass ($10 savings). Tickets may also be purchased at the door.
Click HERE to purchase your early bird tournament pass.
Minor hockey teams can take advantage of an exclusive discount to take in a game during the 2017 WHL Cup with their teammates. Minor hockey teams can purchase 20 tickets for $100 by contacting Allison Selsing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, October 18
3 p.m. MT – Team Manitoba at Team BC
6:30 p.m. MT – Team Saskatchewan at Team Alberta
Thursday, October 19
3 p.m. MT – Team Saskatchewan at Team Manitoba
6:30 p.m. MT – Team Alberta at Team BC
Friday, October 20
3 p.m. MT – Team BC at Team Saskatchewan
6:30 p.m. MT – Team Manitoba at Team Alberta
Saturday, October 21
1 p.m. MT – Semifinal #1
4:30 p.m. MT – Semifinal #2
*top seed from round robin will select preference for semifinal time slot
Sunday, October 22
9:30 a.m. MT – Bronze medal game
1:30 p.m. MT – Gold medal game
About the WHL Cup
The majority of players participating in the event will have been selected in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft or have since been listed by WHL Clubs. The WHL Cup, formerly known as the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup, has been sponsored since 2009 by the WHL and has been made possible through financial support provided by the WHL, Hockey Manitoba, BC Hockey, Hockey Alberta, Saskatchewan Hockey Association and Hockey Canada.
This year will mark the seventh year of the event. The first ever WHL Cup was held in Blackfalds, Alta., in 2009 and featured four of the top eight players selected in the 2012 NHL Draft. In 2010, the WHL Cup was not contested due to the Canada Winter Games. In 2011, the Moose Jaw Warriors and Saskatchewan Hockey Association hosted the event at Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw, Sask. In 2012, the tournament was hosted in Calgary at Father David Bauer Arena, the home of the WHL. In 2013, the tournament was again hosted in Calgary at Father David Bauer Arena. In 2014, the WHL Cup was not contested due to the Canada Winter Games. Since 2015, the WHL Cup has been hosted in Calgary at the Markin MacPhail Centre.
Team Alberta is a five-time champion of the WHL Cup, hoisting the trophy in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016, while Team British Columbia won the event in 2012.