The road to the World Junior Hockey Championship in British Columbia is over. Now it’s time to bring on the games.
B.C. Premier John Horgan officially kicked off the tournament festivities on Tuesday, as Team Canada hit the ice for the first practice together. The puck drops on tournament games in Victoria and Vancouver on December 26.
As part of the lead up to the tournament, the B.C. government worked with Hockey BC to bring the sport to 40 different schools across the province.
“Team sport is a foundational part of who I am and I think it is a foundational part of many British Columbians and Canadians,” Horgan said.
“It’s very exciting for British Columbia to again get the opportunity to host.”
Team Canada will be based in Victoria for the pre-tournament camp, including two exhibition games. The team will then head to Vancouver for the tournament pool games with an eye on the gold medal game, set for Rogers Arena on January 5.
The rest of Canada’s pool includes Russia, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Denmark.
Vancouver Canucks prospect Quinn Hughes, his brother and top prospect Jack Hughes, as well as the rest of the United States team, will play pool games in Victoria. The rest of that pool includes Sweden, Finland, Slovakia and Kazakhstan.
The target is to sell out every game with just 2,000 single tickets available across all games in both cities.
“I think the economic impact is of course large,” said BC Hockey CEO Barry Petrachenko. “There is also a social impact to this weaving together the fabric of Canada,”
“I think it is huge. There will be a lot of events around the World Junior Hockey Championship and excitement it brings. It gets people talking. This event shows Vancouver, Victoria are events cities but also bring together all of British Columbia.”
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