CALGARY, AB – Hockey Canada, in partnership with Hockey Manitoba, announced on Wednesday that the City of Winnipeg will play host to the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in both 2011 and 2012, the first time in the tournament’s history it will be played in the same location in consecutive years.
Preliminary-round games will be played at the True North Hockey Canada MoosePlex, a new multi-plex facility currently under construction in Winnipeg, with the semifinals and medal games scheduled for the MTS Centre, home of the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose. The 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will take place from December 28, 2010 to January 4, 2011. Dates for the 2012 event will be announced at a later date.
Ticket information for the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will be released in early 2010.
“The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, as the first step of the Program of Excellence, is one of Hockey Canada’s most important events,” says Bob Nicholson, president and CEO of Hockey Canada. “With the success Winnipeg has had in hosting previous events, we have no doubt they will do a first-class job in hosting the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in 2011 and 2012.”
“Manitoba is extremely pleased to play host to some of the best young hockey players in the world,” said Premier Greg Selinger. “We know this event will be a huge boost to the provincial economy, and that all Manitobans will be impressed with the caliber of the talented young players.”
"The City of Winnipeg has a great reputation hosting major events and we are ready to welcome theWorld Under 17 Hockey Challenges to the heart of the continent," said Mayor Sam Katz. “We are proud to be a partner in making this event a reality and I know all Winnipeggers are looking forward to seeing the stars of tomorrow on the ice right here in Winnipeg.”
“True North Sports & Entertainment, the Manitoba Moose and MTS Centre are pleased to once again join forces with Hockey Canada to bring some of the world’s best young hockey players to the City of Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba,” said Jim Ludlow, president and CEO of True North Sports & Entertainment. “The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will be the perfect opportunity to showcase our new True North Mooseplex to a world audience and at the same time once again prove Winnipeg is one of this country’s premier hockey hosts.”
The City of Winnipeg has been host to a number of past events, including the 1999 IIHF World Junior Championship and 2007 IIHF World Women’s Championship. In addition, the city played host to the 1992 Centennial Cup (now RBC Cup), Canada’s National Junior A Championship, 1979 Air Canada Cup (now TELUS Cup), Canada’s National Midget Championship, and 13 times hosted the final series of the Allan Cup, Canada’s National Senior Championship, the last coming in 1968.
The 2011 and 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenges will be the second and third times the tournament has come to Manitoba – Selkirk and Stonewall co-hosted the event in 2002.
The under-17 program is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence. Many players who compete at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge go on to represent Canada with the National Men’s Under-18 Team, National Junior Team and National Men’s Team.
The 2010 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge is scheduled for December 29, 2009 to January 4, 2010 in Timmins, Ont. Ontario will look to become the first team in the tournament’s history to win three-consecutive gold medals. For more information, visit www.hockeycanada.ca/wu17.