BC Hockey in conjunction with the Western Hockey League (WHL) announced Team BC’s roster for the 2011 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup.
The U16 Challenge Cup will be held October 27-30, 2011 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
And there will be a Kitimat presence on one of the BC forward lines – Mike Bell, now playing with the Cariboo Cougars.
“Team BC is riding a high from the gold medal showing at the Canada Winter Games this past February in Halifax, NS. The expectation level was set by the 1995 group last year and we’re looking for the 1996-born players to prepare and compete at the same level,” said Team BC head coach Adam Hayduk.
“We are very excited and pleased with the players that were selected for the 2011 Team BC. The strengths of the team include team speed, an ability to generate offence, ability to be responsible in all zones, and a high compete level. The player selections were very difficult; which is a testament to the calibre of players we have in BC.
“The Team BC staff is putting the finishing touches on our plans for our pre-stage event in Richmond prior to departing for Moose Jaw on the 26th of October. Team selection and preparation has gone very well and the entire staff feels confident heading in to the event,” said Team BC director of operations Sean Wicker.
The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup will feature the highest rated players in the Under 16 age category representing the four western provinces.
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 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.