The IIHF World Junior Championship is returning to British Columbia for the first time in 13 years, and Kelowna will host a pre-tournament game as part of the Lordco Road to the World Juniors.
On Dec. 18, Russia and Sweden will face-off at Prospera Place as part of their preparations for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship, which runs Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Vancouver and Victoria.
“We are beyond thrilled to welcome the best junior players in the world to our province in December,” said Barry Petrachenko, CEO of B.C. Hockey and co-chair of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. “We know from experience what hosting this event can mean for hockey in our region and we are confident this tournament will leave a lasting impact on the growth and development of the game here in British Columbia and specifically in Kelowna.”
This is not the first time a Hockey Canada event has come to Kelowna. The city co‑hosted the B Pool of the 2005 World Junior Championship with Kamloops as well as the inaugural World Sledge Hockey Challenge (now Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup) in 2007.
“Kelowna has a proven track record of hosting events of this caliber, and getting the chance to showcase the best junior players in the world on Canadian ice is something young fans will remember for a long time,” said Scott Smith, president and COO of Hockey Canada.
General Manager, Bruce Hamilton is thrilled to host this event.
“The Kelowna Rockets are very happy to be partnering with Hockey Canada and Prospera Place to bring this exciting game to Kelowna,” said Hamilton. “Sweden and Russia are consistently two of the best teams in the world and for our fans, this game will be a real treat. We are pleased to announce this game is a complimentary “bonus” game for our season ticket holders.”
Russia has won four gold medals at the IIHF World Junior Championship, last standing atop the podium at the 2011 World Juniors in Buffalo, N.Y. Sweden has won gold twice, most recently at the 2012 World Juniors in Calgary and Edmonton.
Ticket on‑sale information will be released on Thursday, with Rockets season ticket holders having a special pre-buy period to purchase extra tickets.
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