Calgary, AB – The four Western Provincial Hockey Associations – Hockey Alberta, BC Hockey, Hockey Manitoba and the Saskatchewan Hockey Association – in partnership with the Western Hockey League (WHL) and Moose Jaw Warriors are pleased to announce that 2011 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup will take place October 27 – 30, 2011 at the new Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup will feature the highest rated players in the Under 16 age category representing the four Western Provinces of Alberta, BC, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The four team round robin tournament format, which will open Thursday, October 27 and conclude on Sunday, October 30, 2011, is the first step in the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence and assists the four Western Provincial Hockey Associations in evaluating these top prospects in this age group for future high performance programs.
The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup is made possible through financial support provided by the WHL. The majority of the players participating in the event were selected in the WHL Bantam Draft in June 2011 and many of these top young prospects will play major roles on WHL Clubs in the seasons ahead.
The first ever Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup was held in Blackfalds, Alberta in 2009 and was highly successful due largely to the support of the local community and Hockey Alberta. Of the 80 players who competed in the event in 2009, 50 are now playing in the WHL including top rated prospects for the 2012 NHL Draft; Matt Dumba (Red Deer Rebels), Hunter Shinkaruk (Medicine Hat Tigers), Derek Pouliot (Portland Winterhawks), Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton Oil Kings) and Morgan Reilly (Moose Jaw Warriors). These same five players recently helped Canada’s National Under 18 team to a Gold Medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament held in early August.
The Moose Jaw Warriors will work together with the WHL and the Saskatchewan Hockey Association to ensure the event is hosted at the highest possible standard.
“The WHL is delighted to bring this prestigious event to Moose Jaw’s new Mosaic Place,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “The WHL is proud to partner with the Provincial Hockey Associations to showcase the finest young hockey talent in this age group in Western Canada.”
“The Saskatchewan Hockey Association is very excited to host the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup in the new Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw,” commented Saskatchewan Hockey Association General Manager Kelly McClintock. “The event not only allows the top fifteen year old players in Western Canada the opportunity to display their skills, but it also allows the Province and the City of Moose Jaw to display its hospitality.”
“The Moose Jaw Warriors are very excited to showcase this prestigious event in our new facility Mosaic Place, in front of all of our fans,” commented Moose Jaw Warriors Director, Business Operations, Corey Nyhagen. “The ability to bring this tournament to Moose Jaw strengthens our commitment to our city and our fans of the elite level of events Mosaic Place and the Warriors will now be able to host.”
The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup tournament will feature two games each day with the opening games scheduled for Thursday, October 27. The Gold and Bronze Medal match ups will be featured on Sunday, October 30. All games will be played in the brand new Moose Jaw Mosaic Place.