Two Mariners named to Team Atlantic U-17 roster

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Morgan Messenger and Brendan Nickerson, the Yarmouth Mariners' territorial picks at the MHL draft. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Two Yarmouth Mariners have been named to the Team Atlantic under-17 roster.

Forward Morgan Messenger and defenceman Brendan Nickerson, both of Shelburne County, will represent the Atlantic region at the World Under 17 Hockey Challenge taking place from Dec. 29 to Jan. 4 in Quebec.

Both players were territorial drafts picks for the Mariners heading into this season, and had also been drafted in the QMJHL last spring. Most recently, Messenger had also been named to the Team East roster of the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s Prospects Games, which were held during the World Junior A Challenge that was hosted by Yarmouth.

This year’s Male Under 17 Team Atlantic that the two Mariners have been selected for is comprised of players from each of the four Atlantic provinces with the breakdown as follows; Nova Scotia – nine players, New Brunswick – three players, Newfoundland and Labrador – seven players and Prince Edward Island – three players.

The Team Atlantic selection process began at a summer evaluation camp that took place July 15 to 19 at St. FX University in Antigonish, and continued throughout the fall during seasonal performance with the players’ respective club teams. Final selections were made at the Monctonian Midget Tournament held in Moncton NB. 

Head Coach Dave Ritcey commented on the team and the excitement heading into the World Under 17 tournament, “We had a very competitive camp and a lot of evaluating this fall and the decisions were difficult, but we as a staff are excited to have the quality of players available to us heading to the World Under 17 Challenge in Quebec.”

This hockey challenge is being held in Victoriaville and Drummondville. These two locations are acting as co-hosts for the tournament with games in both locations.  The team will travel on Dec. 26 with a couple days of practices and preparations planned before round robin play begins on Dec. 29.  

Ten teams take part in the tournament, with five of them from Canada: Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, West and Pacific. Also competing are teams from the United States, Finland, Russia, Sweden and Slovakia.

Two other players from the MHL have also been named to the Team Atlantic roster, they are Johnny Erbs of the Woodstock Slammers and Josh Pugsley of the Amherst Ramblers. The other players on the team are playing in the QMJHL, at prep schools or in midget leagues.

Organizations: Mariners, Canadian Junior Hockey League, FX University

Geographic location: Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick Newfoundland and Labrador Prince Edward Island Antigonish Moncton NB Victoriaville Drummondville Canada Atlantic Ontario Pacific United States Finland Russia Sweden Slovakia

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