Canada’s World Juniors hopefuls will begin their quest for back-to-back gold medals when they head west for the National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp, Dec. 11-14 in Victoria, B.C.
Camp will be held at the Q Centre, home of the Victoria Grizzlies of the B.C. Hockey League (BCHL), and will feature a three-game series against a team of U SPORTS all-stars. Following the four-day camp, the Canadian squad will trim its roster to the final 22 players who will proudly wear the Maple Leaf at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship in Vancouver from Dec. 26-Jan. 5. Ticket information for the games against U SPORTS will be announced in the coming weeks.
Canada’s final preparations also include games against Switzerland, Slovakia and Finland recently announced as part of the Lordco Road to the World Juniors pre-tournament schedule. Nine communities across the province will play host to 12 games, featuring all 10 competing teams, from Dec. 18-23 before the puck officially drops Boxing Day on the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.
“We had a competitive camp at our summer showcase in Kamloops, and the opportunity to play and represent our country on home ice should make for another competitive camp,” said Shawn Bullock, Hockey Canada’s director of men’s national teams. “We believe this four-day camp and the three games we will play will give us the best chance to evaluate and name the top Canadian players to represent our country in Vancouver.”
Following the camp and the selection of the 22-player roster, all eyes will turn to the 2019 World Juniors, where Canada looks for an 18th gold medal, and its first on home ice since celebrating gold in Toronto in 2015.
Canada will open the tournament on Boxing Day against Denmark at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Its preliminary-round schedule also includes games against Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Russia. The bronze- and gold-medal games will take place Jan. 5 at Rogers Arena.