WINNIPEG, MB – Team Canada’s 2005 World Junior Head Coach Brent Sutter announced at practice on Sunday that Kenora, ON native Michael Richards will be team captain, and that Patrice Bergeron (Ancienne-Lorette, QC), Jeff Carter (London, ON) and Dion Phaneuf (Edmonton, AB) will serve as Canada’s alternate captains.
Richards is the captain of his CHL team, the Kitchener Rangers, and wore the ‘C’ during the CHL’s Canada-Russia Challenge in November playing for Team OHL.
“It is a huge honour to be named captain of Canada’s National Junior team, “said Richards. “When you look at the history of the players that have previously represented Canada as a captain, it is truly a privilege.”
Richards, Carter and Phaneuf were all members of last year’s World Junior team, winning a silver medal. Bergeron, who played last season for the NHL’s Boston Bruins, was a member of Canada’s gold medal winning 2004 Men’s World Championship team in Prague.
Canada’s roster of 23 players includes a wealth of leadership with 19 players that are either a captain (11 players) or alternate captain (8 players) of their respective Canadian Hockey League teams.
“This is a team with a lot of leadership already, and we feel that these players will bring the necessary leadership and the right mix as we continue to build our team each day and prepare for the World Juniors,“ said Sutter.
The 2005 IIHF World Junior Championship takes place in Grand Forks, ND, December 25, 2004 to January 4, 2005.
Canada will participate in a warm-up event prior to the World Junior Hockey Championship called the ‘Team Canada Junior Series’, a three-game event at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg held Dec. 20, 21 and 22 between Canada, Finland and Switzerland. Tickets are still available for all three games at all Ticketmaster outlets and www.ticketmaster.ca.
Canada’s first game at the 2005 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship will be December 25 versus Slovakia at 3:30pm CT/ 4:30pm ET (TSN/RDS/FAN radio network – check local listings).
Check out www.hockeycanada.ca for the latest information on Canada’s team at the 2005 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.