Team BC lost a hard fought match to Team Alberta 3-2 to capture the silver medal at the 2016 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup. Alberta scored the game winning goal thirty-one (31) seconds into overtime. The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup took place from October 18 – 23, 2016 at WinSport in Calgary, Alberta.
Team BC finished the round robin play with a 2-1 record which was good enough for second in the standings. In a thrilling match, Team BC defeated Team Saskatchewan 2-1 in the 2 vs. 3 match-up on Saturday, October 22.
Josh Williams (Langley, BC) was named to the Tournament All Star Team.
The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup features the highest rated players in the U16 age category representing the four (4) Western provinces of Alberta, BC, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The four (4) team round robin format is the first step in the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence and assists the four (4) western provincial hockey Branches in evaluating the top prospects in this age group for future high performance programs. The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup is made possible through financial support provided by the Western Hockey League (WHL). The majority of players participating in the event were selected in the WHL Bantam Draft in May 2016 and many of these top prospects will play major roles with WHL clubs in the seasons ahead.
Some notable players that have participated as part of Team BC include:
Curtis Lazar – Ottawa Senators
Morgan Reilly – Toronto Maple Leafs
Sam Reinhart – Buffalo Sabres
The U16 Program is the second stage in the BC Hockey High Performance Program, which exposes players, coaches and officials to short term competition. The U16 Program also acts as a precursor to the Hockey Canada High Performance U17 Program, which is used to identify and train players and team personnel for provincial, regional and national teams.