Community, sports tourism, and growing the sport of hockey were all front and centre Monday morning at Mercer Hall in Mile Zero.
“The City of Dawson Creek is thrilled to once again host the world at the Encana Events Centre, bringing some of the best young hockey players from around the world to our community for a week of amazing action. It is very special for us to be able to share this event with our neighbouring Peace Country communities and our First Nation neighbours, the Saulteau and West Moberly First Nations, and to work with Chetwynd, Fort St. John and Grande Prairie as pre-tournament hosts,” said Dale Bumstead, mayor of Dawson Creek.
The City of Dawson Creek’s Barry Reynard said the partner communities would all see exhibition game action.
District of Chetwynd councilor Jocelyn Disher said it was an exciting time. “It is really an unbelievable opportunity for the district and area,” she said.
Robin Fuller with West Moberly Council said hockey was a part of life in the community. “The is an amazing chance.”
Prior to the start of play, the World Junior A Challenge will head to three surrounding communities for a slate of pre-tournament games. Team Canada East will take on the United States at the Chetwynd Rec Centre in Chetwynd, B.C., the Czech Republic will match up against the Grande Prairie Storm of the Alberta Junior Hockey League at the Revolution Place in Grande Prairie, Alta., and Team Canada West will play Russia at North Peace Arena in Fort St. John.
Reynard said the good news was a strong way to kick off the week. “What a way to start the day. This is another example of how communities can work together."
Bumstead added this was another example of the opportunity of partnerships with other communities, and using the unbelievable leverage the region for another world-class event. Tickets will go on sale later this week.