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Western Hockey League –  Calgary, AB – Team Alberta and Team BC each moved to 2-0-0 on the second day of competition at the 2016 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup to set up a critical match-up between the two undefeated teams on Friday night to conclude the round robin.  
 
The winner of Team Alberta and Team BC’s game Friday evening will advance directly to Sunday’s final, while Team Saskatchewan and Team Manitoba will do battle Friday afternoon for the right to retain a shot at the title.
 
GAME HIGHLIGHTS, INTERVIEWS & PHOTOS – CLICK HERE FOR MEDIA ACCESS
*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 WHL.ca available for media use
 
Team British Columbia (5) @ Team Saskatchewan (3) FULL STATISTICS / GAME STORY
               Team BC came back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits thanks in part to a four-point outing (2g-2a) from Spokane Chiefs prospect Ethan Leyh. Selected in the eighth round of the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, Leyh earned first star honours in the win. Kamloops Blazers first-rounder Massimo Rizzo picked up a goal and three assists in the game and now has six points (2g-2a) through two games.
               Connor Zary, Kamloops’ second round pick, had a goal and an assist to earn player of the game honours for Team Saskatchewan. Vancouver Giants prospect Harrison Blaisdell also had a goal and an assist, while team captain and Swift Current Broncos first-rounder Logan Barlage found the back of the net for his second goal and third point of the tournament.
 
Team Alberta (5) @ Team Manitoba (1) FULL STATISTICS / GAME STORY
               Team Alberta gave up the opening goal just 1:42 into the game, but scored five unanswered markers and received a 30-save performance from Red Deer prospect Byron Fancy in goal en route to its second consecutive win. Edmonton Oil Kings prospect Carter Souch, who was added to Alberta’s roster just prior to the tournament due to an injury, picked up a goal and an assist Thursday night. Moose Jaw Warriors first-rounder Brayden Tracey potted a pair of goals on the night while Ethan Browne (Everett Silvertips) and Daniel Baker (Medicine Hat Tigers) picked up the other markers for Alberta.
               Jonny Hooker, a Brandon Wheat Kings prospect, opened the scoring for Team Manitoba. Despite playing a tough, physical game and a 30-save performance from Everett Silvertips prospect Danton Belluk in goal, Manitoba was unable to beat Fancy and stem Alberta’s tide throughout.
 
Leading Scorers

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

 
Standings

  1. Team British Columbia (2-0-0, +6)
  2. Team Alberta (2-0-0, +5)
  3. Team Saskatchewan (0-2-0, -3)
  4. Team Manitoba (0-2-0, -8)

 
Event Schedule – Friday, October 21st
Markin MacPhail Centre – WinSport / Calgary, Alberta
*All times local
 
10:00-10:45 a.m. – Team British Columbia Pre-Game Skate
11:00-11:45 a.m. – Team Alberta Pre-Game Skate**
**Player & coach availability for Team BC, goaltenders and coaches ONLY available for Team Alberta
 
3:00 p.m. – Team Saskatchewan @ Team Manitoba
6:30 p.m. – Team British Columbia @ Team Alberta
 
FULL EVENT INFORMATION & SCHEDULE
 
Media Accreditation & Access
               Please contact WHL Senior Manager, Corey St. Laurent via email (stlaurentc@whl.ca) 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)
2009
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
 
2011
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
 
2012
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 
 
2013
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
 
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For further information, please contact:
 
Corey St. Laurent
WHL Senior Manager, Communications
stlaurentc@whl.ca
 
Taylor Rocca
WHL Coordinator, Communications
roccat@whl.ca