2011 WJAC Starts Monday in Langley, BC
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Some of the world's top young hockey players have gathered in Langley, B.C. for the 2011 World Junior A Challenge, which kicks off Monday, Nov. 7 and runs until Sunday, Nov. 13 at the Langley Events Centre.
Before the tournament begins, the six competing teams will take part in three exhibition games.
On Monday, Nov. 7, the tournament opens when Canada East takes on the debuting Czech Republic in the early game (4 p.m. PT), while the three-time defending champions from the United States meet Sweden in the late game (7:30 p.m. PT). Canada West and Russia play their tournament openers on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
The 2011 World Junior A Challenge will follow the same format as previous years - the six teams will be separated into two groups of three teams. The group winners will receive an automatic bye to the semifinals, while the second-place and third-place teams will crossover for the quarter-finals.
The gold medal game, which will be shown nationally on TSN/RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, is set for Sunday, Nov. 13 (check your local listings). All preliminary round games, quarter-finals, semifinals and the bronze medal game can be seen live via webcast through FASTHockey at hockeycanada.fasthockey.com. Fans can watch all the action for free by following three steps:
STEP 1: Visit hockeycanada.fasthockey.com and sign up for a free FASTHockey account.
STEP 2: Like the World Junior A Challenge on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wjrac.
STEP 3: Just prior to the game, click the HC on FASTHockey link on the WJAC Facebook page to watch.
This year, for the first time, the CJHL Prospects Games will be held in conjunction with the World Junior A Challenge. The two-game total goal series between Team East and Team West on Nov. 12-13 features the top 40 NHL draft-eligible players from Canada's 10 Junior A leagues and will be 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.
Full-tournament 15-game ticket packages are on sale, including tickets to all 13 games at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge, both CJHL Prospects Games and a free souvenir tournament program, for only $150, as well as single-game tickets and a flex package.
The 2011 World Junior A Challenge marks the third time in the tournament's six-year history that it is being held in British Columbia. Langley joins Yorkton and Humboldt, Sask. (2006), Trail and Nelson, B.C. (2007), Camrose, Alta. (2008), Summerside, P.E.I. (2009) and Penticton, B.C. (2010) as host cities.
Since the first World Junior A Challenge in 2006, more than 100 NHL draft picks have played in the tournament, including 13 first-round selections (Beau Bennett, Alexander Burmistrov, Joe Colborne, Nikita Filatov, Dmitri Kulikov, Evgeny Kuznetsov, John Moore, Vladislav Namestnikov, Riley Nash, Dylan Olsen, Jaden Schwartz, Brendan Smith and Kyle Turris).
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 silver in 2008 and 2009. Canada East was silver medallist in 2006, 2007 and 2010 and claimed bronze in 2008.