CALGARY - The title defense is on for Team Alberta U16 Male, as the 2016 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup begins today in Calgary.
Team Manitoba and Team B.C. kick off the tournament this afternoon (Wednesday) at 3 pm, while Team Alberta’s quest for another championship begins tonight at 6:30 pm against Team Saskatchewan. Team Alberta also hits the ice again Thursday night against Team Manitoba, and wraps up round-robin play Friday night against B.C. All three Team Alberta games are set for 6:30 p.m. at the Markin MacPhail Centre at WinSport.
Wednesday night’s game also marks a very special occasion for Team Alberta - the official unveiling of jerseys that feature Hockey Alberta’s new logo. Team members first saw the new jerseys on Monday during a team photo, but this will be the first time players representing the province of Alberta have donned the new logo in competition.
The winner of round-robin play advances straight to Sunday’s Championship game, while the 2nd and 3rd place teams will battle in the semi-final on Saturday afternoon.
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.
The majority of players participating in the event were selected in the 2016 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.