A total of seven MJHL players have been selected to the Team Canada West camp in preparation for the World Junior A Challenge scheduled for Dec. 10-16 in Truro, NS.
Defenceman Justin Lee (Virden) and Darcy Gula (Steinbach), will be joining forwards Chase Brakel (Portage), Riese Gaber (Dauphin), Will Koop (Steinbach), Matt Osadick (Swan Valley) and James McIsaac (Portage) in Calgary from Dec. 2-5.
Kevin Saurette of the MJHL (Hockey Operations Director) will assume the same role with Canada West, while Riley Kosmolak (Steinbach) has been named Equipment Manager.
“As a group, we are very excited at the depth of talent, character, and work ethic of the 60 players that have been identified for selection camp,” said Saurette. “We look forward to watching these players earn the opportunity to represent Team Canada West at what will be a very competitive selection camp.”
“It is always a difficult process to narrow down and identify 60 players from the five leagues in the West, and I commend our coaching staff on all their hard work, dedication, and professionalism through this process.”
Team Canada West players 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).
Team Canada West will open the tournament against Team Czech on Dec. 10.
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.