A pair of Portage Terriers’ defencemen, Brett Orr and Dean Stewart have been named to Team Canada West (view roster) which will compete in the prestigious World Junior A Challenge.
Orr, who wears No. 4 in honour of NHL Hall of Famer Bobby Orr, has been outstanding this season for the defending RBC Cup champion Terriers.
A native of Elkhorn, Orr has also contributed offensively with eight goals and 24 points. At 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, Orr is a key member of the Terriers’ blueline.
Stewart, who hails from Portage la Prairie, has 5 goals and 7 assists in 25 games.
“It’s an honour to wear the Canadian sweater,” said Orr. “It’s going to be a great experience playing against all those high-calibre players.”
Hockey Canada and the Canadian Junior Hockey League announced that two goaltenders, seven defencemen, and 13 forwards will make up this year’s Team Canada West roster, which meets the Czech Republic in the tournament-opener on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 1 p.m. ET at the Cobourg Community Centre.
“We had quite the task to go from the 60 players invited to selection camp to this final 22-player roster,” said Team Canada West head coach Tim Fragle. “I’m happy with what we saw at camp, and of the welcome we had in Leduc, and I’m confident we have a strong team heading into this year’s World Junior A Challenge. We’ll be ready to compete.”
The final tournament roster was chosen by 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 (B.C. Hockey League).
Players named to Team Canada West 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).
An exhibition game featuring Team Canada West going head-to-head against Russia will take place 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 exhibition game are available for $10 at the arena box office.
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.
All preliminary-round games, quarter-finals, semifinals, and the bronze-medal game can be seen live and free through FASTHockey webcasts at www.hockeycanada.ca/wjac.
The gold-medal game is scheduled for Sat. Dec. 19 at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT and will be broadcast by TSN and RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada – check local listings for details.
Single-game tickets are now available for the tournament, and full-tournament ticket packages in both Cobourg and Whitby, including the gold-medal game, are still available 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.