Two members of the Rivermen in goaltender Bo Didur and forward Justin Fregona were invited to the World Junior “A” Challenge Canada West camp. In total, 60 players will compete for just 22 spots. Of the 60 invited,18 come from the BCHL. Selection camp runs from December 5-8 in Leduc, Alberta.
Official release from Hockey Canada:
Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), released the 60-player roster on Wednesday. Players named to the Team Canada West selection camp roster were selected from the CJHL’s five western Junior A leagues: 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).
The Canada West selection camp roster includes:
- six goaltenders, 21 defencemen and 33 forwards;
- 24 players from the AJHL, 18 players from the BCHL, eight players from the SJHL, seven players from the MJHL, and three players from the SIJHL;
- three players returning from the 2014 World Junior A Challenge (Tyler Busch, Dante Fabbro and Tyson Jost).
The selection camp roster was chosen by Team Canada West head coach Tim Fragle (Sherwood Park, AJHL) along with assistant coaches Paul Dyck (Steinbach, MJHL), Mike Reagan (Flin Flon, SJHL) and Barry Wolff (Coquitlam, BCHL), and director of hockey operations Trevor Alto (BCHL).
The selection camp, scheduled for Dec. 5-8, will be held at the Leduc Recreation Centre in Leduc, Alta. The 60 players will be divided into three teams and play four intrasquad games (two 25-minute, running-time periods each) over three days.
“With the tremendous amount of talent in Western Canada, there were tough decisions to get to these 60 players, and we’re expecting it to be even tougher to get down to the final 22,” said Fragle. “It’s going to be an exciting four days in Leduc, and as a staff we can’t wait to get started in Ontario on Dec. 13.”
The Wellington and District Community Centre, home of the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s (OJHL) Wellington Dukes, will host two pre-tournament games on Friday, Dec. 11; the first featuring the OJHL All-Stars in a match-up against the Czech Republic at 3 p.m. ET, and the second featuring Team Canada East taking on the United States at 7 p.m. ET.
In Trenton, Team Canada West will go head-to-head with Russia on Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET at the Duncan McDonald Memorial Gardens, home of the OJHL’s Trenton Golden Hawks.
Tickets to the pre-tournament games can be purchased at the arena box offices in Wellington and Trenton beginning Nov. 9. Single-game tickets are $10 each, or $15 for the two Wellington games.
This year marks the 10th edition of the World Junior A Challenge – executed as part of a partnership between Hockey Canada and the CJHL. The event visits Ontario for the first time since its inception in 2006. Two Canadian teams and four international squads will form the two groups of three teams that face off Dec. 13-19 at the Cobourg Community Centre in Cobourg and the Iroquois Park Sports Centre in Whitby.
Full-tournament ticket packages in both Cobourg and Whitby, including the gold-medal game, can be purchased through the Hockey Canada website.
Seven of the nine 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 the top prize in 2011. The team also earned silver in 2008, 2009 and 2012, and won bronze in 2013. Team Canada East earned silver medals in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011, and claimed bronze in 2008.