YARMOUTH, N.S. - Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League, announced Wednesday the game schedule for the 2013 World Junior A Challenge, set for Nov. 4-10 at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth. It's the second year in a row the southwestern Nova Scotia community will host the tournament.
The United States, the defending gold medallist, will play in Group A with Canada East and Russia, while Canada West, the Czech Republic and Switzerland will comprise Group B.
Canada West will be the first Canadian team to see action, taking on Switzerland in the tournament opener Monday, Nov. 4, while Canada East will make its 2013 debut that night when it faces Russia.
The first-place team in each group will receive a bye to the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 8, with the second-place and third-place teams crossing over for the quarter-finals Thursday, Nov. 7. The losers of the semifinals will meet for the bronze medal Saturday, Nov. 9, while the winners will face off for gold Sunday, Nov. 10.
"Yarmouth has undoubtedly earned another opportunity to host this prestigious international event for a second time," said Kirk Lamb, chairman and president of the Canadian Junior Hockey League. "The World Junior A Challenge is a tremendous opportunity to showcase top talent from the CJHL and competing countries, and we look forward to another exciting event this fall for CJHL fans and players."
"Every season, the profile of Junior A hockey continues to grow, and the World Junior A Challenge is a key component to that growth," said Bob Nicholson, president and CEO of Hockey Canada. "Canada's Junior A leagues are continuing to produce world-class players, and it'll be a treat for Yarmouth hockey fans to get to be a part of the event for the second year in a row this November."
Full-tournament ticket packages for the 2013 World Junior A Challenge are now on sale, including tickets to all 12 games in Yarmouth for only $199.
Single-game ticket information will be announced closer to the start of the 2013 World Junior A Challenge.
Since the first World Junior A Challenge in 2006 in Yorkton and Humboldt, Sask., more than 100 NHL draft picks have played in the tournament, including 21 first-round selections (Beau Bennett, Alexander Burmistrov, Joe Colborne, Nikita Filatov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Dmitri Kulikov, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Elias Lindholm, Hampus Lindholm, John Moore, Vladislav Namestnikov, Riley Nash, Valeri Nichushkin, Dylan Olsen, Jordan Schmaltz, Jaden Schwartz, Brendan Smith, Kyle Turris, Andrei Vasilevski, Alexander Wennberg and Nail Yakupov).
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 the top prize in 2011; it also earned silver in 2008, 2009 and last year. Canada East was silver medallist in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011, and claimed bronze in 2008.
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