Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) and BC Hockey, announced on Monday that Penticton, B.C. will host the 2010 World Junior A Challenge from November 1-7, 2010, the second time in the five-year history of the tournament that it will be held in British Columbia.
The 2010 World Junior A Challenge will follow the same format as previous years – two Canadian entries will be joined by four international teams, with two groups of three teams. The group winners will receive an automatic bye to the semifinals, while the second and third place teams will crossover for the quarter-finals. All 13 games of the 2010 World Junior A Challenge will take place at the South Okanagan Events Centre, home of the BCHL’s Penticton Vees.
A full schedule for the 2010 World Junior A Challenge, as well as the teams that will compete, will be announced in the near future.
“As a Penticton native, I am fully aware of the pride and passion local hockey fans possess,” said Bob Nicholson, Hockey Canada president and CEO. “I cannot think of a better host for this growing event, and look forward to watching the city embrace the future of our great game.”
“Penticton has a rich hockey history and it will be wonderful for our community and region to see high calibre hockey and some up-and-coming NHL stars right in our backyard,” said Penticton mayor Dan Ashton. “Sport tourism is one of council’s strategies to maximize use in our facilities and generate economic activity and excitement in our community.”
“From an economic standpoint the tournament will generate close to one million dollars into our local economy at a time of the season that is slower,” says Penticton city councilor Andrew Jakubeit, who also chairs the tournament’s host committee. “We are excited for Penticton to be showcased on an international stage for its amenities, beauty, love of hockey and community support.”
"BC Hockey congratulates the host committee from Penticton for their outstanding bid to host the 2010 World Junior A Challenge," said Rick Boekestyn, president of BC Hockey. "We are excited to see this event return to B.C. for the first time since 2007."
“On behalf of the British Columbia Hockey League and our 17 member teams, we are thrilled that the World Junior A Challenge is returning to B.C.,” said John Grisdale, commissioner of the BCHL. “The BCHL's roots in the City of Penticton go back nearly 50 years and the Vees have a proud history as one of the province's premier junior hockey teams. I know that the great fans of the Okanagan will be out in force to support this tremendous international event just as the fans did in Trail and Nelson in 2007.”
In addition to hosting the 2010 World Junior A Challenge, Penticton and the surrounding area will host the Canada West and Canada East training camps, as well as pre-tournament games, from October 26-30. The South Okanagan Events Centre will also welcome 40 Canada West hopefuls for an evaluation camp from September 26-29. Two tickets packages are being offered immediately. The BCHL Fan Pack is available to BCHL season ticket holders for $99 and includes reserved seating for all 13 tournament games, a free tournament program, a specialized BCHL Fan Pack pass, a concession voucher and the opportunity to win autographed BCHL player jerseys and the ultimate WJAC fan experience, which includes a second event package, VIP access at the 2010 World Junior A Challenge and an autographed Canada West jersey. A second ticket package, available to the general public, costs $119 and includes reserved seating for all 13 tournament games, a free tournament program and a specialized WJAC pass.
Ticket packages can be purchased by phone at 1-877-763-2849, online at www.valleyfirsttix.com or in person at the South Okanagan Events Centre box office or Wine Country Visitor’s Centre.
Since the first World Junior A Challenge in 2006 in Yorkton, Sask., more than 65 NHL draft picks have played in the tournament, including eight first-round selections (Kyle Turris, Nikita Filatov, Dmitri Kulikov, Joe Colborne, Riley Nash, John Moore, Brendan Smith and Dylan Olsen).
Penticton joins Yorkton, Trail, B.C. (2007), Camrose, Alta. (2008) and Summerside, P.E.I. (2009) as host cities for the World Junior A Challenge.
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 medalists in 2006 and 2007 and claimed bronze in 2008.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)