For the first time ever, 20 BCHL players will wear the Maple Leaf and represent Canada at the 2011 Russian Invitational Tournament in Podolsk, Russia.
Canada will be one of four teams at the event which also features the Russian National Junior Team, a Russian Select Team and the Slovakian National Junior Team. Hockey Canada was invited to enter a squad after being contacted by Russian goaltending legend Vladislav Tretiak.
For most of these players, it will be their first chance to wear the Team Canada jersey.
“We’re incredibly excited to be making this trip and giving these young men an opportunity to represent their country,” said Team Canada general manager Ron Paterson. “It’s been a lot of planning and paperwork but I’m sure it will be more than worthwhile once we get there.”
Podolsk is a town of over 180,000 people situated about 50 kilometres south of Moscow. Each team in this event will play in three games in a round-robin format. The team with the most total points at the end will be declared the winner. Canada’s games are on April 15, 16 and 17 but it is not yet known which team will provide the opposition on which date.
“We’ll be able to practise and get a couple of exhibition games in against some select teams beforehand,” said Paterson. “It’s going to be very worthwhile for these players and good for the BCHL as well.”
Canada will be guided by 2011 BCHL Interior Conference coach of the year Tim Kehler of the Salmon Arm SilverBacks. The team leaves on April 8 and returns on April 19.
Team Canada Roster
G – Khaleed Devji (West Vancouver, BC/Coquitlam Express)
G – Kris Moore (Calgary, Alta./Salmon Arm SilverBacks)
D – Troy Paterson (Surrey, BC/Cowichan Valley Capitals)
D – Justin Fillion (Prince George, BC/Victoria Grizzlies)
D – Brandon Pfeil (West Vancouver, BC/Merritt Centennials)
D – Mitch Jones (Delta, BC/Surrey Eagles)
D – Josh Manson (Prince Albert, Sask./Salmon Arm SilverBacks)
D – Jayson Reardon (Lumby, BC/Salmon Arm SilverBacks)
F – Brayden Jaw (Vancouver, BC/Nanaimo Clippers)
F – Mike Hammond (Victoria, BC/Salmon Arm SilverBacks)
F – Evan Richardson (Nanaimo, BC/Victoria Grizzlies)
F – Jake Charles (West Vancouver, BC/Coquitlam Express)
F – Austin Carroll (Vancouver, BC/Coquitlam Express)
F – Malcolm McKinney (West Vancouver, BC/Coquitlam Express)
F – RJay Berra (Prince George, BC/Prince George Spruce Kings)
F – Brett Knowles (Vanderhoof, BC/Salmon Arm SilverBacks)
F – Bryce Gervais (Battlefords, Sask./Salmon Arm SilverBacks)
F – Devin Gannon (Kamloops, BC/Salmon Arm SilverBacks)
F – David Killip (Kelowna, BC/Salmon Arm SilverBacks)
F – Jarryd Ten Vaanholt (West Vancouver, BC/Salmon Arm SilverBacks)
Head Coach – Tim Kehler, Salmon Arm SilverBacks
Assistant Coach – Colin O’Hara, Salmon Arm SilverBacks
General Manager – Ron Paterson, Surrey Eagles
Trainer – Wayne Hubbard
Massage Therapist – Larry Martin
Media relations – Eddie Gregory
Equipment Manager – Dan Ilich
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)