Hockey Alberta announced on Tuesday the Team Alberta U16 Male roster that will compete at the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup, October 31 - November 3, 2013 in Calgary, Alberta.
"Our coaching staff is extremely excited about this group of players. There were many difficult decisions as the depth of talent in Alberta this year is exceptional,” said Team Alberta Head Coach, Serge Lajoie. “It will be an honour and privilege for our entire coaching staff to work with the final 20 players selected to represent Team Alberta at the 2013 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup."
The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup will feature the highest rated players in the Under 16 age category representing the four Western Provinces of Alberta, BC, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Team Alberta begins tournament action at 7:00pm on October 31 when they take on Team Manitoba. They’ll face Team Saskatchewan on November 1 at 7:00pm and wrap up against the defending champions, Team British Columbia, November 2 at 11:00am. All games will be played at Father David Bauer Arena.
Team Alberta has won this event twice in its history, winning the inaugural event in 2009 in Blackfalds, Alberta then again in 2011 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. In 2012, Team Alberta placed second, losing the gold medal to Team BC. The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup only occurs in the off years of the Canada Winter Games.
The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup is a partnership between the four Western Provincial Hockey Branches - Hockey Alberta, BC Hockey, Hockey Manitoba and the Saskatchewan Hockey Association - and the Western Hockey League (WHL).
“The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup will showcase the top ranked 15-year-old players from all four of the Western provinces,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “This is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence for these players, and this competition will provide an excellent opportunity to evaluate the top players in this age category.”
The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup is the final event in the first year of the Team Alberta Male program. Selected players then advance to the second year of the program (U17) where they compete for a roster spot on Team Pacific.
Former Team Alberta players include Morgan Klimchuk, Josh Morrissey, Mathew Dumba, Jordan Eberle, Jay Bouwmeester, Devan Dubnyk, Devan Setoguchi and Tyler Myers.