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Western Hockey League – 2016 WESTERN CANADA U16 CHALLENGE CUP
 Calgary, AB – The opening day of the 2016 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup featured wins by both Team British Columbia and Team Alberta, the latter of which came in thrilling fashion with just 2.8 seconds remaining in regulation time.
*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 Manitoba (3) @ Team British Columbia (7) FULL STATISTICS / GAME STORY
               Mitchell Brown, the 29th overall pick by the Tri-City Americans in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, had a four-point (2g-2a) effort to pace Team BC to a 7-3 win over Team Manitoba in the tournament-opener. Sasha Mutala (Tri-City Americans, 1st round), Massimo Rizzo (Kamloops Blazers, 1st round) and Joshua Williams (Medicine Hat Tigers, 1st round) each had a goal and assist on the night for Team BC while Elan Bar-Lev-Wise (Victoria Royals, 6th round) and Henry Rybinski (Medicine Hat Tigers, 2nd round) both added a pair of assists.
               Team Manitoba, despite giving up the game-opening goal 42 seconds in, started nicely and jumped out to a 3-1 lead on the back of goals from Reece Vitelli (Everett Silvertips, 4th round), Ben McCartney (Brandon Wheat Kings, 2nd round) and Nakodan Greyeyes (Seattle Thunderbirds, 6th round).
Team Saskatchewan (3) @ Team Alberta (4) FULL STATISTICS / GAME STORY
               Late-game heroics capped off a thrilling game as Team Alberta opened its tournament with a win on the back of a tie-breaking goal with 2.8 seconds remaining by Dylan Holloway (Everett Silvertips, 6th round) which was set up by a beautiful pass by 2016 first overall pick Peyton Krebs (Kootenay ICE). Krebs also added two earlier goals for a three-point night and first star honours. Liam Keeler (Edmonton Oil Kings, 1st round) picked up Team Alberta’s other tally.
               After falling behind 2-0, goals from Logan Barlage (Swift Current Broncos, 1st round) and Kaeden Korczak (Kelowna Rockets, 1st round) pulled Team Manitoba even. Krebs’ second goal gave Alberta the lead once again, but Jaydon Dureau (Portland Winterhawks, 8th round) found the back of the net with 54 seconds to go in regulation time and the goaltender pulled for the extra attacker. Both Korczak and Barlage had two-point (1g-1a) efforts in a losing cause.
Leading Scorers

  1. Mitchell Brown (BC) – 2G-2A-4PTS
  2. Peyton Krebs (AB) – 1g-2a-3PTS
  3. Seven players tied – 2PTS


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

Event Schedule – Thursday, October 20th
Markin MacPhail Centre – WinSport / Calgary, Alberta

*All times local
10:00-10:45 a.m. – Team Alberta Pre-Game Skate
11:00-11:45 a.m. – Team Manitoba Pre-Game Skate
**Player & coaches media availability to follow pre-game skates
3:00 p.m. – Team BC @ Team Saskatchewan
6:30 p.m. – Team Alberta @ Team Manitoba
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