Five players from the Manitoba Junior Hockey League have been invited to the tryout camp for Team Canada West which will be participating in the upcoming World Junior A Challenge.
Owen Murray, D and Reilly Funk, F of the Portage Terriers will be joined by Steinbach Pistons’ Matt Radomsky (G) and Kyle Bettens (F). Rounding out the group is Matt Osadick (F) from the Swan Valley Stampeders, who will be attending his second consecutive TCW camp.
Team Canada West is the defending gold medalist. Of note, Steinbach Pistons’ Riese Gaber was a member of that winning squad.
A total of 44 players will gather in Calgary from Dec. 3-5. Bonnyville, AB, will host the World Junior A Challenge for the second time in three years from Dec. 9-15.
The players were selected from the CJHL’s five western Junior A leagues: Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey Leauge (MJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) and Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL).
Also named to Team Canada West is athletic therapist Hailee Dayman of Virden Oil Capitals and Kevin Saurette (MJHL’s Director of Operations), who returns to the same role as last WJAC.
“After months of work put in to identifying players, our group is excited to bring a talented group together for selection camp, and we look forward to helping assemble Team Canada West for what should be a highly-competitive international tournament in Bonnyville,” said Saurette. “We know these 44 players will bring a competitive and hard-working attitude to camp as we look to select our 22-player roster for the 2018 World Junior A Challenge.”
Team Canada West will be coached by Rick Swan (Bonnyville Pontiacs, AJHL). He was an assistant coach on last year’s champion team.
Team Canada West will open its tournament against the United States Dec. 9.
About the WJAC
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. Ten of the 12 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, 2015, and 2017. 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.
For more information on the World Junior A Challenge, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow along via social media on Facebook and Twitter.