Fort St. John, Dawson Creek to host World Under-17 Hockey Challenge

Canada rushes the net in last year's World Under 17 Hockey Challenge.

It’s the biggest hockey tournament the Peace Region has ever seen, as Hockey Canada announced this morning that the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge is coming to Fort St. John and Dawson Creek this fall.

The event, taking place from October 30 to November 7, pits three of Canada’s best teams against the best under-17 players the rest of the world has to offer.

Teams joining the Canadian squads later this year will be teams from the United States, Russia, Sweden, Finland, and the Czech Republic.

Details of the event were announced at the Pomeroy Sport Centre this morning.

“This opportunity that has been presented to our two great communities is world-class,” Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead said in a release ahead of the conference.

“The significance and magnitude of this event is unparalleled to anything we have seen or hosted in our collective histories.  We are known as hockey cities and our hockey history is rich. As partners, we are proud to showcase our communities, our region and our northern hospitality to the future hockey stars of tomorrow.”

The event will consist of a 22 game schedule that will be played out of the Encana Events Centre and the North Peace Arena.

Teams will be broken up into two groups of four, with a round robin determining seeding for the quarter-finals. Winners will advance to the semi-finals and finals as the tournament progresses.

In last year’s tournament, held in Sarnia, Ontario, teams from Russia, Sweden, Finland, the United States and Slovakia participated. Russia defeated the U.S. for gold, while Sweden came away with bronze.

Eleven of the last 14 first overall selections in the NHL draft have played in this tournament.

Some of the marquee names that have laced up the skates in the event in the past include Alexander Ovechkin, Patrick Kane, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Ilya Kovalchuk.

A game schedule and ticket information will be announced at a later date.

We will update this story throughout the day.

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