Team Alberta U16 Male won silver at the 2012 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup after falling to Team British Columbia by a score of 9-3 in the gold medal game on Sunday afternoon.
Team Alberta finished the tournament with a 2-1-1 record posting 17 goals for and allowing 14 goals against.
Team Alberta goaltender, Zachary Sawchenko (Calgary, AB) and forwards Braylon Shmyr (Calgary, AB) and Nick Merkley (Calgary, AB) were named tournament All-Stars.
The game marked the third time Team Alberta found itself in the gold medal game at this tournament. Team Alberta won gold in the inaugural event in 2009 in Blackfalds, Alberta and gold at last year’s event in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
Team Saskatchewan beat Team Manitoba 2-1 to win the bronze medal earlier in the day.
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 event only occurs in the off years of the Canada Winter Games.
The event features the highest rated players in the Under 16 age category representing the four Western Provinces of Alberta, BC, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
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 2011 WHL Rookie of the Year, Matt Dumba, and NHL’ers Jordan Eberle, Jay Bouwmeester, Devan Dubnyk, Devin Setoguchi and Tyler Myers.
ATB Financial is the title sponsor of all Team Alberta programs, including the ATB Alberta Cup and the ATB Alberta Challenge. The Team Alberta Male Program is a two year progression for elite athletes that begins at the ATB Alberta Cup, a U15 age level event, and progresses to the U17 age level. The Team Alberta Female Program is a two year progression for elite athletes that begins at the ATB Alberta Challenge, a U16 age level event, and progresses to the U18 age level. Team Alberta programs feed into Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence.