CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), announced on Thursday the 22 players that will represent Canada West at the 2008 World Junior A Challenge, November 1-8 in Summerside, P.E.I.
Canada West has appeared in the gold medal game at all three previous World Junior A Challenges, winning gold in 2006 in Yorkton, Sask., and 2007 in Trail, B.C., before settling for silver last year in Camrose, Alta.
The Canada West roster is comprised of players from the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) and Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL).
“After a high-intensity camp in Okotoks last month, we are confident we have chosen the right players who can bring the gold medal back to Canada West,” said head coach Rylan Ferster (Salmon Arm, BCHL). “We are excited to get to P.E.I. and take on some of the world’s best.”
The selection process for Canada West involved extensive scouting by Ferster, general manager Leonard Strandberg and assistant coaches Barry Butler (Waywayseecappo, MJHL) and Larry Wintoneak (Kindersley, SJHL), and included an evaluation camp featuring 40 hopefuls in Okotoks, Alta., in mid-September.
Canada West’s roster for the 2009 World Junior A Challenge includes:
• Two (2) goaltenders, eight (8) defensemen and 12 forwards
• Six (6) players currently leading or co-leading their teams in scoring (Daniel Carr – St. Albert, John Dunbar – Calgary, Curtis Gedig – Cowichan Valley, Cody Kunyk – Sherwood Park, Ryan Marshall – Swan Valley, Cam Reid – Westside)
• Two (2) players currently leading or co-leading their leagues in scoring (Daniel Carr – AJHL, Ryan Marshall – MJHL)
• One (1) player returning from the 2008 World Junior A Challenge (Tanner Fritz)
• Two (2) players selected in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft (Cam Reid – Nashville, 7th round, 192nd overall; Curtis Gedig – New Jersey, 7th round, 204th overall)
• Eleven (11) players from the BCHL, four (4) players from the AJHL, four (4) players from the MJHL, two (2) players from the SJHL, and one (1) player from the SIJHL
Canada West will play in Group A at the 2008 World Junior A Challenge, joined by Russia and Sweden, while Canada East, Belarus and the United States will comprise Group B. Round-robin play will run until Thursday, November 3, with both semifinals taking place on Saturday, November 7. The gold medal game, which will be shown nationally on TSN/RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, is set for Sunday, November 8 (check your local listings). All preliminary round games, quarter-finals, semifinals and the bronze medal game can be seen live via webcast through FASTHockey at hockeycanada.fasthockey.com.
D – Lee Christensen (Winnipeg) – Melfort Mustangs, SJHL
D – Dustin Pearson (Winnipeg) – OCN Blizzard, MJHL
D – Matthew Bodie (East St. Paul) – Powell River Kings, BCHL
D – Peter Stoykewych (Winnipeg) – Winnipeg South Blues, MJHL
F – Ryan Marshall (Ste. Rose du Lac) – Swan Valley Stampeders, MJHL
F – Brendan O’Donnell (Winnipeg) – Winnipeg South Blues, MJHL