Schedule and ticket details are announced for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge coming to Langley and North Delta this fall, along with a call for volunteers.
In a showcase of future stars, some of the world’s best 16-year-old hockey players will compete in the tournament, Nov. 3-12 at Langley Events Centre and Sungod Arena.
Seven teams will battle for the championship, including three Team Canada squads (Black, Red and White), Czechia, Finland, Sweden and the United States. Each team will play six preliminary-round games, followed by a medal round.
Langley Events Centre will host 16 games, including three all-Canadian matchups and both medal round games on Nov. 12. Seven games will be played at Sungod, beginning with Team Canada White facing Sweden on Nov. 3.
“Each team will play at least one game in Langley and Delta, ensuring that fans in both communities can watch some of hockey’s brightest young stars,” Hockey Canada promises.
Tickets packages start at $109 for games in North Delta, and $209 in Langley. Details are posted to hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/tickets.
The bronze and gold medal games will take place on Nov. 12 at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. local time, respectively, with television coverage on TSN.
The annual tournament was postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
The schedule for this year’s games is posted to hockeycanada.ca, with rosters to be announced later.
The three Team Canada rosters could feature some local talent. In July Hockey Canada held a U17 development camp in Calgary that saw invitations sent to some Metro Vancouver-area players including Surrey’s Jordan Gavin and Tomas Mrsic, along with Langley’s Hiroki Gojsic and Diego Buttazzoni.
Since it all began in 1986, more than 1,600 NHL draft picks have played in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Previously known as the Quebec Esso Cup, the tournament has featured future stars Patrick Kane, Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews and Alex Ovechkin, among others.
“We cannot wait to celebrate the tournament’s return with the great hockey fans in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley and watch the top young players in the world compete for gold this fall,” Breanne Ferris, manager of events and properties for Hockey Canada, said in a news release.
Some of those names, along with statistics and scores, are found in an 86-page guide and record book on Hockey Canada’s website. Team Russia won the tourney the last time it was played, in 2019.
Meantime, volunteers are sought for this year’s tournament, with a website set up to recruit help. People can also call 438-885-0988 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details. The registration deadline is Oct. 7. Those who volunteer can expect apparel, entry into prize draws, security screening costs fully covered, meals and “an exceptional volunteer experience like no other.”