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Announcing Team Alberta For The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup

CALGARY – The Western Hockey League, in partnership with Hockey Alberta, BC Hockey, Saskatchewan Hockey Association, Hockey Manitoba and Hockey Canada, announced team rosters, an event schedule, and ticket information for the 2015 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup on Monday.

This year’s event will take place from October 28-November 1 at the Markin MacPhail Centre (WinSport) in Calgary.

The roster for Team Alberta was announced Monday, along with rosters for British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Click here to view the Team Alberta U16 Male Roster.

Team Alberta won the title at the last Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup held in 2013. Team Alberta’s 2015 roster features one returning player (Ty Smith) from the squad that won a silver medal at the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, BC.

The staff for the team includes: Bobby Fox (head coach), Craig Perrett and Bram Stephen (assistant coaches), Matt Keillor (video coach), Derek Purfield (goalie coach), Jamie Porter (head scout), KarynFanstone (athletic therapist), Alexander Le (equipment manager), Barry Medori (coach mentor), and Mike Kraichy (director of operations).

"Our coaching staff is extremely excited about this group of players," said Bobby Fox, head coach of Team Alberta. "There were many difficult decisions, as the depth of talent in Alberta is strong. It will be an honour and a privilege for our entire staff to work with the final 20 players selected to represent team Alberta at the 2015 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup."

Team Alberta opens against British Columbia on Wednesday, October 28 at 7 p.m. Team Alberta also plays Saskatchewan on Thursday at 3 p.m., and concludes round-robin play on Friday at 7 p.m. against Manitoba. The semi-finals go Saturday afternoon, with bronze and gold-medal games on Sunday.

Click here to view all rosters, schedules and ticket information.

The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup will feature the highest-rated players in the under-16 age category from the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The four-team round robin tournament is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence for players. Additionally, the event assists the four provincial hockey associations in evaluating top prospects for future high performance programs.

The majority of players participating in the event were selected in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft or have since been listed by WHL Clubs. The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup is made possible through financial support provided by the WHL and Hockey Canada.

This year will mark the fifth year of the event, which is held in non-Canada Winter Games years. The first Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup was held in Blackfalds in 2009 and featured four of the top eight players selected in the 2012 NHL Draft. Other events have been hosted in Moose Jaw, SK in 2011, and Calgary in 2012 and 2013.

“The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup provides the top prospects in each province with their first opportunity to compete against the best players in their age group,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “The WHL, together with the four Western Branches and Hockey Canada, are proud to support this first step in the Program of Excellence which will showcase the future stars of the WHL and Canada’s National Teams for the first time.”

Past participants in this event include Matt Dumba (2009), Jake Virtanen (2011), Nick Merkley (2012), and upcoming NHL Draft prospects Tyler Benson, Sam Steel and Kale Clague (2013).

News

Four Alberta Officials Headed To Level Six Seminar

Hockey Alberta and the Officiating Committee are pleased to announce four officials have been selected to attend the Hockey Canada Level Six officiating seminar in Moncton, New Brunswick from November 3-8.

Cody Rude of Edmonton, Kevin Webinger and Reid Anderson of Calgary, and Chris Schlenker of Medicine Hat will be attending this event, which is the highest level in the officiating program in Canada. 

There are only about 80 level 6 officials registered in Canada each season, making this a very select group of top officials from across Canada. 

Hockey Alberta and the Officiating Committee would like to congratulate each official on their selection.

News

Team Alberta Rallies For 6-3 Win Over BC

CALGARY - Despite trailing in the early goings of the game, Team Alberta kicked off the 2015 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup with a 6-3 win over BC Wednesday night.

In a rematch of the 2013 Gold Medal game, which Team Alberta won, BC jumped out to an early lead on goals by Liam Kindree and LukaBurzan, before Josh Tarzwell put Alberta on the board late in the first period. 

BC would regain a two-goal lead in the second period thanks to Tyler Popowich, but goals from Josh Prokop and Nicholas Bowman just 24 seconds apart would tie the game at 3-3 after two. 

Team Alberta carried the momentum into the third, taking its first lead of the game on Chase Wouters’ marker, and added a pair of insurance goals as Bowman and Prokop each landed their second goals of the game. 

Goalie Carl Stankowski was able to brush off a shaky start and earn the win for Alberta, stopping 19 of the 22 shots he faced. 

Jordan Naylor took the loss for BC, allowing five goals on 33 shots before being pulled and replaced by Donovan Buskey, who allowed one goal on three shots in relief. 

With two assists, Spencer Moe was named the Player of the Game for Team Alberta, while Captain Ethan Cap took the honour for BC. 

"It’s something we discussed as a team in pre-planning, with the ins and outs of a short-term competition," Coach Bobby Fox said of his team’s come-from-behind win. "You could be down two in the first 5 minutes, but there’s 55 minutes left in the game. The guys showed character, remained poised, and didn’t stop working."

Team Alberta now shifts its focus to Team Saskatchewan, who are coming off a narrow 4-3 loss to Team Manitoba Wednesday afternoon. 

The two teams hit the ice at 3 p.m. at the MarkinMacPhail Centre in Calgary, followed by BC and Manitoba at 7 p.m. 

Click here for the full tournament schedule, ticket information, and updated stats.