Thursday, October 21, 2004

Team WHL named for the 2004 CHL Canada - Russia Series

Calgary, AB - The Western Hockey League today announced 23 players that will represent TEAM WHL in the 2004 CHL Canada - Russia Series. The series will feature Team WHL taking on the Russian Selects in games in Red Deer at the Enmax Centrium on Wednesday, December 1st and in Lethbridge on Thursday, December 2nd, 2004 at the Enmax Centre.

TEAM WHL was selected by a panel of three WHL General Managers; Bruce Hamilton, Kelowna Rockets, Donn Clark, Prince Albert Raiders and Brent Sutter, Red Deer Rebels in consultation with Blair Mackasey, Hockey Canada's Head Scout for Canada's National Junior Team.

The team includes 14 current top ten WHL scorers, Nigel Dawes, Kootenay Ice (Tied 2nd -- 16 Pts), Ryan Stone, Brandon Wheat Kings (Tied 2nd -- 16 Pts), Jeremy Colliton, Prince Albert Raiders (3rd -- 15 Pts), Clarke MacArthur, Medicine Hat Tigers (4th -- 14 Pts) Dion Phaneuf, Red Deer Rebels (Tied 5th -- 13 Pts), Colin Fraser, Red Deer Rebels (Tied 5th -- 13 Pts) Kyle Chipchura, Prince Albert Raiders (Tied 5th -- 13 Pts), Eric Fehr, Brandon Wheat Kings (Tied 6th -- 12 Pts), Stefan Meyer, Medicine Hat Tigers (Tied 6th -- 12 Pts), Ryan Getzlaf, Calgary Hitmen, (Tied 7th -- 11 Pts), Shea Weber, Kelowna Rockets (Tied 7th -- 11 Pts), Braydon Coburn, Portland Winter Hawks (8th -- 10 Pts), Brent Seabrook, Lethbridge Hurricanes (9th -- 9 Pts), and Andrew Ladd, Calgary Hitmen (10th -- 10 Pts).

All 23 players currently named to Team WHL attended Canada's National Junior Team Evaluation Camp in August.

Additional players will be added to Team WHL roster in mid-November.

Brent Sutter, Head Coach of the Red Deer Rebels, has been named Head Coach of Team WHL. Sutter will also serve as Head Coach of Team Canada for the 2005 World Junior Hockey Championships in North Dakota. The assistant coaches will be named at a later date.

The RE/MAX Canada/Russia Challenge Series represent the final opportunity to evaluate WHL players prior to Canada's National Junior Team selection camp in mid-December. The series will involve a total of six games across Canada in late November and early December.

The Quebec Remparts will host the first game of the series at Le Colisee on November 22. The second game will be played at the Bell Centre in Montreal on November 23. The Barrie Colts will host the first OHL-based game on November 25 followed by the Mississauga IceDogs on November 29. The series will conclude in the WHL with the Red Deer Rebels hosting game 5 on December 1, while the Lethbridge Hurricanes will host the series finale on December 2.

All six games will be broadcast nationally on Rogers Sportsnet and the two QMJHL-hosted games will be broadcast live in Quebec on RDS.

Canada and Russia have finished first and second in the World Junior Championships eight times in the past 18 years, including 2003 when Russia defeated Canada 3-2 to win the gold medal in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Russia has 12 gold medals in World Junior play. Canada is second on the all-time list with 10.

"We are delighted to bring this major international series to two outstanding WHL markets in Lethbridge and Red Deer. It provides a great opportunity for our fans in Lethbridge and Red Deer to watch the WHL's finest players in action for the only time this season," stated Ron Robison, Commissioner, Western Hockey League.

Tickets for the 2004 RE/MAX Canada Russia Challenge can be purchased in Red Deer, on-line at www.ticketmaster.ca, or at (403) 340-4455 beginning on November 1st and in Lethbridge at www.lethbridge.ca/tickets or at (403) 329-7328 beginning on November 2, 2004.

The 2004 CHL Canada-Russia Challenge is supported by CHL associate sponsors CGC, Bell, NAPA and SLAM! Sports.

2004 CHL Canada - Russia Series Schedule of Games

Game 1 - Monday November 22 at Quebec City, Quebec
Game 2 - Tuesday November 23 at Montreal, Quebec
Game 3 - Thursday November 25 at Barrie, Ontario
Game 4 - Monday November 29 at Mississauga, Ontario
Game 5 - Wednesday December 1 at Red Deer, Alberta
Game 6 - Thursday December 2 at Lethbridge, Alberta

Following is the list of WHL players named to TEAM WHL in the CHL Canada - Russia Series.

Goaltender
Rejean Beauchemin, Prince Albert Raiders

Defencemen
Andy Rogers, Calgary Hitmen
Jeff Schultz, Calgary Hitmen
Shea Weber, Kelowna Rockets
Brent Seabrook, Lethbridge Hurricanes
Cam Barker, Medicine Hat Tigers
Braydon Coburn, Portland Winter Hawks
Dion Phaneuf, Red Deer Rebels
Mike Green, Saskatoon Blades
Shawn Belle, Tri-City Americans
Logan Stephenson, Tri-City Americans
Mark Fistric, Vancouver Giants

Forwards
Eric Fehr, Brandon Wheat Kings
Ryan Stone, Brandon Wheat Kings
Ryan Getzlaf, Calgary Hitmen
Andrew Ladd, Calgary Hitmen
Nigel Dawes, Kootenay Ice
Clarke MacArthur, Medicine Hat Tigers
Stefan Meyer, Medicine Hat Tigers
Dustin Boyd, Moose Jaw Warriors
Kyle Chipchura, Prince Albert Raiders
Jeremy Colliton, Prince Albert Raiders
Colin Fraser, Red Deer Rebels