TORONTO, ON – Team Ontario Director of Operations Barclay Branch along with Head Coach Roger Hunt, Assistant coaches Drew Bannister and Seamus Kotyk announced the 22-man roster today for Ontario's Under-17 Team that will compete at the upcoming 2014 World Hockey Challenge being held in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, from December 29, 2013, through January 4, 2014.
“I am impressed with the players we have selected to represent Ontario at this year’s World Hockey Challenge. Every player going through the Under-17 evaluation process is committed to excellence, which makes it difficult when making decisions on who will ultimately make the team. There is always disappointment for those players who are not selected, however, we as a staff believe that we have put together a group of athletes who will represent Ontario with honour and class both on and off the ice and are capable of winning the Gold medal at this year's World Hockey Challenge,” stated Director of Operations Barclay Branch.
"The skill level of the players selected to represent Ontario at this year's event is remarkable and indicates that the minor hockey system in Ontario is continuing to produce high performance athletes as well as quality citizens,” stated head coach Roger Hunt.
The team will depart for Cape Breton on December 27 where they will begin play in the World Hockey Challenge on December 29, 2013, with a preliminary game against Germany. The tournament features 10 teams including 5 regional teams and 5 International teams in 2 conferences. The 2 top teams from each conference will advance to the semi-finals while the remaining 3 teams from each group will crossover for placement games. Team Ontario will play in a conference with Germany, Team Atlantic, Russia and the USA.
Ontario has won eight gold medals at the tournament including 2011 in a 5-3 win over the United States led by two goals in the final from Calgary Flames rookie and former Ottawa 67’s star Sean Monahan.
The Hockey Development Centre for Ontario (HDCO) facilitates the Men’s Under-17 hockey program on behalf of the 3 Ontario Branches of Hockey Canada.
OHL players on Team Ontario for 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge:
Troy Timpano (Sudbury Wolves)
Garrett McFadden (Guelph Storm)
Kyle Capobianco (Sudbury Wolves)
Sean Day (Mississauga Steelheads)
Justin Lemcke (Belleville Bulls)
Matthew Spencer (Peterborough Petes)
Mitchell Vande Sompel (Oshawa Generals)
Mitchell Marner (London Knights)
Jesse Barwell (Mississauga Steelheads)
Sam Harding (Oshawa Generals)
Brett McKenzie (North Bay Battalion)
Graham Knott (Niagara IceDogs)
Matthew Kreis (Barrie Colts)
Dylan Strome (Erie Otters)
Travis Konecny (Ottwa 67’s)
Blake Speers (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Adam Laishram (Belleville Bulls)
Hayden McCool (Niagara IceDogs)
Lawson Crouse (Kingston Frontenacs)
Mitchell Stephens (Saginaw Spirit)
Also listed on the roster is goaltender Benjamin Blacker (Milton IceHawks) who was selected by the Ottawa 67’s in the seventh round of the 2013 OHL Priority Selection, and Jacob Chychrun (Toronto Jr. Canadiens) who is eligible for the 2014 OHL Priority Selection.
Director of Operations - Barclay Branch (Belleville Bulls)
Head Coach – Roger Hunt (Oshawa Generals)
Assistant Coach – Drew Bannister (Owen Sound Attack)
Assistant Coach – Seamus Kotyk
Athletic Therapist – Rich Rotenberg (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Equipment Manager – Michael Boyes (Oshawa Generals)