Team Ontario Director of Operations Barclay Branch along with Head Coach Troy Smith, Assistant coaches Roger Hunt and Wayne Clark has announced the 22 man roster for Ontario's Under 17 Team that will compete at the upcoming 2012 World Hockey Challenge being held in Windsor Ontario from December 27, 2011 through January 4, 2012.
The roster (listed below) includes 16-year-old Ryan Kujawinski of the Sarnia Sting. The Iroquois Falls native was chosen fourth overall in the OHL Priority Selection in May and a has a goal and three assists in 20 games in his freshman season in the league.
“It is always a challenge when you have to select a team from a group of athletes who are so committed to excellence within their sport. We know that there will always be disappointment for those players who are not selected at the end of the evaluation process. However, we as a staff believe that we have put together a group of athletes who will represent Ontario with pride 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 quality and skill level of the players selected to represent Ontario at this year's event indicates that the minor hockey system in Ontario is not only producing high performance athletes but also quality citizens as well said head coach Troy Smith.”
The team will depart for Windsor Ontario on December 27 where they will begin play in the World Hockey Challenge on December 29, 2011 thru January 4 2012. The tournament features 10 teams, 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, Sweden, Team Pacific, and Team West.
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.