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Western Hockey League – 2016 WESTERN CANADA U16 CHALLENGE CUP
 Calgary, AB – Team Alberta punched its ticket to Sunday’s final at the 2016 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup after a narrow 3-2 win over Team British Columbia on Friday night in a thrilling game at the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary, AB.   
In Friday’s afternoon game, Team Saskatchewan staged a dramatic last-minute comeback which resulted in an overtime win to earn the right to face Team BC in Saturday’s semi-final.
*Folder will be updated throughout the event as content is available
*Video courtesy: Western Hockey League
*Photo credit: WHL/Derek Leung
*Game stories at links below and on available for media use
Team Saskatchewan (3) @ Team Manitoba (2) – OT FULL STATISTICS / GAME STORY
               Team Saskatchewan staged a dramatic last-minute comeback when Nolan Renwick (Swift Current Broncos) scored with 30 seconds remaining in regulation time to make it a 2-2 game before Jaydon Dureau (Portland Winterhawks) scored just 16 seconds into overtime to propel Saskatchewan to Saturday’s semi-final. Swift Current Broncos first-rounder Logan Barlage continued to impress with a three-point outing (1g-2a) which included the game’s first goal.
               For Team Manitoba, Reese Vitteli (Everett Silvertips) tied the game early in the second period while Kyle Bettens (Brandon Wheat Kings) gave the Manitobans the lead 14:10 into the second frame. Vancouver Giants first-rounder Trent Miner was terrific with 25 saves in a losing cause. Team Manitoba will fight the loser of Saturday’s semi-final for bronze on Sunday.
Team British Columbia (2) @ Team Alberta (3) FULL STATISTICS / GAME STORY
               Moose Jaw Warriors first-rounder Brayden Tracey scored Team Alberta’s first two goals to give the team a 2-1 lead, the second of which came on a pretty penalty shot effort 1:13 into the third period. After BC tied the game, Connor Bouchard (Tri-City Americans) scored the eventual game-winner with 6:22 remaining and the Albertans hung on to punch their ticket to Sunday’s final. Byron Fancy (Red Deer Rebels) was solid for the second consecutive night with 25 saves.
               Roman Basran (Kelowna Rockets) was exceptional in the Team BC net with 22 saves in his second consecutive appearance, but Team BC was unable to solve the opposing netminder. Joshua Williams, selected by the Medicine Hat Tigers fifth overall in last May’s WHL Bantam Draft, was outstanding and provided both of Team BC’s goals. Team BC will now have to defeat a talented Saskatchewan club on Saturday to earn a rematch with Alberta for the gold medal.
Leading Scorers

  1. Joshua Williams (BC) – 4g-3a-7pts
  2. Massimo Rizzo (BC) – 2g-5a-7pts
  3. Logan Barlage (SK) – 3g-3a-6pts
  4. Ethan Leyh (BC) – 2g-3a-5pts
  5. Peyton Krebs (AB) – 2g-3a-5pts

Round Robin Standings – FINAL

  1. Team Alberta (3-0-0, +7)
  2. Team British Columbia (2-1-0, +4)
  3. Team Saskatchewan (1-2-0, -2)
  4. Team Manitoba (0-3-0, -9)

Event Schedule – Saturday, October 22nd  
Markin MacPhail Centre – WinSport / Calgary, Alberta
*All times local
11:00 – 12:00 p.m. – Team Alberta Practice
**Media availability to follow practice
1:00 p.m. – Semi-Final / Team Saskatchewan (3rd) @ Team BC (2nd)
Event Schedule – Sunday, October 23rd  
9:00 a.m. – Bronze Medal Game / 3rd Place @ Team Manitoba
1:00 p.m. – Gold Medal Game / Semi-Final Winner @ Team Alberta
Media Accreditation & Access
               Please contact WHL Senior Manager, Corey St. Laurent via email ( for all accreditation and interview requests.
About the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup
The majority of players participating in the event have been selected in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft or have since been listed by WHL Clubs. The Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup has been sponsored since 2009 by the WHL and has been made possible through financial support provided by the WHL, Hockey Manitoba, BC Hockey, Hockey Alberta, Saskatchewan Hockey Association and Hockey Canada.

This year will mark the sixth year of the event. The first ever Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup was held in Blackfalds, Alberta in 2009 and featured four of the top eight players selected in the 2012 NHL Draft. In 2010, the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup was not contested due to the Canada Winter Games. In 2011, the Moose Jaw Warriors and Saskatchewan Hockey Association hosted the event at Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. In 2012, the tournament was hosted in Calgary at Father David Bauer Arena, the home of the WHL. In 2013, the tournament was again hosted in Calgary at Father David Bauer Arena. In 2014, the Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup was not contested due to the Canada Winter Games.

Team Alberta is a four-time champion of the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup, capturing the title in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015, while Team British Columbia won the event in 2012.
Past Participants
(Player, WHL Club – NHL Draft/Current NHL Club – Branch Team)
Matt Dumba, Red Deer Rebels – Minnesota Wild – Team Alberta
Derek Pouliot, Portland Winterhawks – Pittsburgh Penguins – Team Saskatchewan
Griffin Reinhart, Edmonton Oil Kings – Edmonton Oilers – Team BC
Morgan Reilly, Moose Jaw Warriors – Toronto Maple Leafs – Team BC
Jake Virtanen, Calgary Hitmen – Vancouver Canucks – Team BC
Jayce Hawryluk, Brandon Wheat Kings – Florida Panthers – Team Manitoba
Connor Bleackley, Red Deer Rebels – Colorado Avalanche – Team Alberta
Brayden Point, Moose Jaw Warriors – Tampa Bay Lightning – Team Alberta
Ryan Gropp, Seattle Thunderbirds – New York Rangers – Team BC
Haydn Fleury, Red Deer Rebels – Carolina Hurricanes – Team Saskatchewan
Mathew Barzal, Seattle Thunderbirds – New York Islanders – Team BC
Nick Merkley, Kelowna Rockets – Arizona Coyotes – Team Alberta
Jansen Harkins, Prince George Cougars – Winnipeg Jets – Team BC
Brendan Guhle, Prince Albert Raiders – Buffalo Sabres – Team Alberta
Ethan Bear, Seattle Thunderbirds – Edmonton Oilers – Team Saskatchewan 
Tyler Benson, Vancouver Giants – Edmonton Oilers – Team Alberta
Brett Howden, Moose Jaw Warriors – Tampa Bay Lightning – Team Manitoba
Sam Steel, Regina Pats – Anaheim Ducks – Team Alberta
Kale Clague, Brandon Wheat Kings – Los Angeles Kings – Team Alberta
Nolan Patrick, Brandon Wheat Kings – 2017 NHL Draft Top Prospect – Team Manitoba
Garrett Pilon, Kamloops Blazers – Washington Capitals – Team Saskatchewan
2015 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup All-Star Team
G – Matthew Thiessen (Team Manitoba) – Altona, MB – Tri-City Americans
D – Ty Smith (Team Alberta) – Lloydminster, AB – Spokane Chiefs
D – Jett Woo (Team Manitoba) – Winnipeg, MB – Moose Jaw Warriors
F – Carson Focht (Team Saskatchewan) – Regina, SK – Tri-City Americans
F – Eric Florchuk (Team Alberta) – Ft. Saskatchewan, AB – Victoria Royals
F – Eli Zummack (Team BC) – Kelowna, BC – Spokane Chiefs
For further information, please contact:
Corey St. Laurent
WHL Senior Manager, Communications
Taylor Rocca
WHL Coordinator, Communications