Members of Team Canada West celebrate their victory over Team Canada East in this year’s World Junior A Challenge which was held in Langley, B.C. in November. Next year’s event will be in Yarmouth. Photo by Andy Devlin/Hockey Canada Images
Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League, has announced the game schedule for the 2012 World Junior A Challenge, set for Nov. 5-11 at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth.
Canada West, the defending gold medalist, will play in Group A with the Czech Republic and Russia, while Canada East, Switzerland and the United States will comprise Group B.
Canada East will be the first Canadian team to see action, taking on the United States on Monday, Nov. 5. Canada West will make its 2012 debut on Tuesday, Nov. 6 when it faces the Czech Republic.
The first-place team in each group will receive a bye to the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 9, with the second-place and third-place teams crossing over for the quarter-finals on Thursday, Nov. 8.
The losers of the semi-finals, which will be played on Friday, Nov. 9, will meet for the bronze medal on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m., while the winners will face off for gold at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11.
In addition to the World Junior A Challenge, the CJHL Prospects Games will also be held during the week. The two-game total-goal series between Team East and Team West features the top 40 NHL draft-eligible players from Canada’s 10 Junior A leagues and is a unique opportunity to give CJHL prospects an unprecedented audience of scouts from across North America. Player selection is a joint initiative of the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting.
The first of the two games will be held Saturday, Nov. 10 in Digby, with the second scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 11 in Yarmouth, preceding the 2012 World Junior A Challenge gold medal game.
“The CJHL and Junior A hockey are about development, exposure and opportunity for our players, and the World Junior A Challenge and CJHL Prospects Games deliver all of these,” said Kirk Lamb, chairman of the Canadian Junior Hockey League. “With elite prospects competing for the attention of scouts from all over the globe, the people of Yarmouth are in for some tremendous hockey and entertainment.”
“Every season, the profile of Junior A hockey continues to grow, and the World Junior A Challenge is a key component to that growth,” said Bob Nicholson, president and CEO of Hockey Canada. “Canada’s Junior A leagues are continuing to produce world-class players, and hockey fans in Yarmouth are in for a treat when the puck drops in November.
Full-tournament 15-game ticket packages are now on sale, including tickets to all 13 games at the 2012 World Junior A Challenge and both CJHL Prospects Games, for only $199. To purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.
Single-game ticket information will be announced closer to the start of the 2012 World Junior A Challenge.
Since the first World Junior A Challenge in 2006 in Yorkton and Humboldt, Sask., more than 100 NHL draft picks have played in the tournament, including 18 first-round selections (Beau Bennett, Alexander Burmistrov, Joe Colborne, Nikita Filatov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Dmitri Kulikov, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Hampus Lindholm, John Moore, Vladislav Namestnikov, Riley Nash, Dylan Olsen, Jordan Schmaltz, Jaden Schwartz, Brendan Smith, Kyle Turris, Andrei Vasilevski and Nail Yakupov).
Every gold medal game at the World Junior A Challenge has featured at least one Canadian team. Canada West won gold at the first two tournaments, in 2006 and 2007, before taking the top prize last year; it also earned silver in 2008 and 2009. Canada East was silver medallist in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011, and claimed bronze in 2008.