Thursday, October 27, 2011

Puck Drops On Under 16's

Tomorrow's stars of the WHL take over Moose Jaw starting today with the opening games of the Western Canada Under 16 Challenge Cup at Mosaic Place.

The four day tournament features some of the top players from the four western provinces, many of whom were drafted to the WHL earlier this year. They have round robin games today thru Saturday, the bronze and gold medal games are scheduled for Sunday.

Warriors Director of Hockey Operations Alan Millar. "It's going to be a great tournament. The kids know that this is the first step and Hockey Canada is watching. They also know that their respective scouts, head scouts, general managers, and assistant general managers are watching them play. Then take into the fact that the pride of provinces versus province, it's going to be a heck of a tournament.

Millar says WHL teams and hockey fans will get to see some outstanding hockey. "95% of the kids are drafted by WHL teams. The majority of the top 40-50 picks in this year's draft are here. We have the two young guys in (Josh) Uhrich and (Miles) Warkentine on our host team, or the fan favourite team here in Saskatchewan. Then there's Brayden Point leading his guys from Alberta."

Unfortunately, Warrior fans will have to wait to see Warkentine on the ice. The Prince Albert Minto suffered a hand injury during a practice with team Saskatchewan on Tuesday and will miss the tournament.

Not only is this a time for the players to shine against their peers, but Millar feels this is a chance for the city of Moose Jaw to step into the spotlight.

"It's a fabulous opportunity for us to showcase Mosaic Place. That reflects back to our partnership with the city and the WHL, and the whole process of building this wonderful facility and bringing in events like the U16's, the Subway Super Series in November, and hopefully other things in the future."

The Western Canada Under 16 Challenge Cup opens this afternoon with Brayden Point and team Alberta taking on Manitoba at 3pm. Team Saskatchewan, which has Warrior prospect Josh Uhrich and Moose Jaw Generals Rhett Gardner and Grant Naherniak, take on BC at 7pm. is your source for the tournament, all round robin games and both medal games on Sunday will be webcast

Speaking of the Subway Super Series, WHL commissioner Ron Robison will be at Mosaic Place this morning to announce team WHL's roster for the upcoming event.

The WHL takes on the Russians November 16th in Regina and November 17th in Moose Jaw.

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