CALGARY, Alta. – Team Canada East, the 2016 silver-medallists, will open this year’s tournament against Russia in prime time on Sunday, Dec. 10, when the World Junior A Challenge returns to Atlantic Canada this December.
With ticket sales underway since April, the host organizing committee along with Hockey Canada and the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) have released the 2017 schedule and team pools for the event being hosted at the RECC in Truro. Joining Canada East in Group A are Russia and Switzerland, while Group B includes Team Canada West, the Czech Republic, and the United States. Canada West and the Czech Republic open their tournament at 3:30 p.m. AT on Dec. 10.
“Confirming the schedule and teams really brings the event to life,” said Dave Hysen, manager of events and properties for Hockey Canada. “We’re still a few months away, and enjoying the summer sunshine, but for the local organizers and volunteers who are working tirelessly on making this a success for the town and county, this announcement really helps set things in motion as we hit the homestretch in the event’s preparations.”
Full-tournament packages – which give fans the best value at $175 (including fees and applicable taxes) and are the only way to secure reserved seating (all other ticket options will be general admission) – include all 13 tournament games and are available online at HockeyCanada.ca/Tickets, in-person at the RECC, or by calling 1.888.311.9090.
As a way to ensure everyone can enjoy some of the best hockey in the world, fans who purchase a tournament pass but can’t attend all games have the option of donating those tickets back to the organizing committee this fall when they receive their hard-copy tickets. The committee will ensure donated tickets are given to those who might not otherwise be able to attend a game.
Paul Currie joins Team Canada East, Kevin Saurette named to Team Canada West
The first Team Canada East and West staff members were also named by the selection committee.
Paul Currie (Stratford, P.E.I./Saint Mary’s, AUS) joins Team Canada East as director of operations. Currie is the head of recruitment, development, and player personnel with the Saint Mary’s Huskies Hockey Club, and was a regional scout for Team Canada East at the 2014 and 2016 World Junior A Hockey Challenge. His hockey background also includes two seasons with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL as part of the scouting staff, and the better part of eight seasons as general manager and head coach in the CJAHL.
Kevin Saurette (Winnipeg/MJHL) was named director of operations for Team Canada West. Saurette is the MJHL’s director of operations, and has previously held similar roles for Hockey Manitoba’s Director’s Cup, where he was also head coach. His professional playing career spanned the United States (AHL and ECHL), Europe, and the U.K.
The World Junior A Challenge is made possible thanks to the partnership between Hockey Canada, the CJHL, and NHL Central Scouting, and features two Canadian teams, representing East and West, as well as four international teams vying for a gold medal. Nine of the 11 gold-medal games at the World Junior A Challenge have featured at least one Canadian team. Team Canada West won gold at the first two tournaments, in 2006 and 2007, and also took home gold in 2011 and 2015. The team also won silver medals in 2008, 2009, and 2012, as well as bronze in 2013. Team Canada East won silver medals in 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2016, as well as claiming the bronze medal in 2008.