The Mooseheads will be well represented this month at the 2017 IIHF U18 World Championship in Slovakia. Hockey Canada has added Halifax goalie Alex Gravel as well as defencemen Jared McIsaac and Jocktan Chainey to the roster. Benoit-Olivier Groulx was also given an invitation but is unable to play due to injury. Gravel and McIsaac will play on the National team as underage players which is a major accomplishment for the two Halifax rookies.
Meantime Nico Hischier will also suit up for Switzerland at the event. Canada battles the Swiss on Monday, April 17th.
“Having the opportunity to play for their country will be a tremendous experience that is well deserved,” said Mooseheads General Manager Cam Russell.
Team Canada will be led by Head Coach Darren Rumble of the Moncton Wildcats as well as Assistant Coaches Steve Hamilton (Edmonton Oil Kings) and Stéphane Julien (Sherbrooke Phoenix). Rumble was in attendance at Scotiabank Centre last week alongside Hockey Canada’s director of player personnel, Ryan Jankowski as they scouted the Mooseheads young players.
Alex Gravel played in a total of 56 games between the regular season and playoffs combined. He posted a 19-33 record, logging 3038:46 minutes as a 16-year-old. He was outstanding in the postseason with a 2.92 Goals Against Average and a .924 Save Percentage. Gravel earned a star in five of the six games.
Jared McIsaac played on the top defensive pairing for the majority of the 2016-17 season. He set a team record with 32 points by a 16-year-old defenceman and was awarded the Mooseheads Top Defenceman trophy. McIsaac also took home The Raymond-Lagacé Trophy as the QMJHL’s defensive rookie of the year.
Jocktan Chainey has become one of the Mooseheads most reliable defencemen in his season and a half in Halifax. His ability to get the team out of their own end with precision passing has been one of the keys to his success.The 17-year-old scored four goals and 20 assists during the regular season and added another three assists in the playoffs.
“This past season was an excellent learning and growing experience for these young players that will definitely help with their growth moving into next season,” Russell said.
The team departs for Slovakia today to continue its training camp and play two pre-tournament games – April 9 in Bratislava versus Russia; and April 10 in Piestany versus Switzerland.
Canada opens the 2017 IIHF U18 World Championship on April 13 against Latvia; it will also play Finland, Slovakia and Switzerland in preliminary-round action. TSN, the official broadcast partner of Hockey Canada, is broadcasting 12 games, including all of Team Canada’s match-ups at the IIHF U18 World Championship. RDS will broadcast 10 games, including Canada’s four preliminary-round games, two quarter-final games, both semifinals, and the bronze- and gold-medal games.
IIHF MEN’S U18 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
|Latvia vs. Canada||Thursday, April 13||9:30am||TSN Network|
|Canada vs. Slovakia||Saturday, April 15||1:30pm||TSN2|
|Canada vs. Switzerland||Monday, April 17||9:30am||TSN Network|
|Finland vs. Canada||Tuesday, April 18||9:30am||TSN Network|
|Quarterfinal #1||Thursday, April 20||7:30am||TSN1/4|
|Quarterfinal #2||Thursday, April 20||9:30am||TSN3/5|
|Quarterfinal #3||Thursday, April 20||11:30am||TSN1/4|
|Quarterfinal #4||Thursday, April 20||1:30pm||TSN2|
|Semifinal #1||Saturday, April 22||9:30am||TSN1/4|
|Semifinal #2||Saturday, April 22||1:30pm||TSN1/4|
|Bronze Medal||Sunday, April 23||9:30am||TSN2|
|Gold Medal||Sunday, April 23, 2017||1:30 – 4:00pm||TSN1/4|
Canada has won seven medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship, including three gold medals (2003, 2008, 2013).