For some, Boxing Day signals a chance to hit the malls for blow-out sales, while for others, it’s a tradition to unwind after a long holiday season. For teams of extremely talented hockey players from around the globe, December 26th, 2018 marks the opening day of the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation U20 Championships, most commonly known as the World Juniors.
This year’s tournament will take place in Vancouver and Victoria with games being played between December 26th and January 5th.
Team Canada is hoping to match its gold-winning performance of the 2018 championships under the guidance of coach Tim Hunter. Hunter, who served as the assistant coach of the team in 2017 and 2018 and is currently the head coach of the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors, will be joined on the bench by assistant coaches Jim Hulton, Brent Kisio, and Marc-André Dumont. Winger Max Comtois, the sole player returning from last year’s Canadian team, will be joined by a group of highly talented teens from across the country, including goalies Michael DiPietro and Ian Scott.
The ten competing teams are split into two divisions with Canada in Group A along with teams from Russia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Denmark. Group B is made up of teams from the U.S., Sweden, Finland, Slovakia, and Kazakhstan.
With Coach Hunter commenting that “We’re going to be a fast team. We’re going to try to be the fastest World Junior team yet.”
This year’s Team Canada promises to be an exciting one to watch. Catch the team’s first game on December 26th at 8 p.m. EST vs. Denmark.
See the full schedule here