Canada versus Russia; the ultimate hockey rivalry.
Digby hockey fans may very well have a front row seat this fall when Canada’s best Junior A players take on Russia’s best.
“I got cold chills when we made this official,” says Danny Harvieux, Digby organizer for the event. “I love Team Canada hockey—it’s going to be exciting.”
Yarmouth is hosting the World Junior A Hockey Challenge from Nov. 5 to 11.
For that tournament, teams from Russia, Switzerland and the Czech Republic will face off against each other and Canada East and Canada West teams.
Harvieux and Hockey Canada organizers announced last week that Digby will be partnering with Yarmouth to host the Canadian Junior Hockey League Prospects camp from Nov. 8 to 11.
These are the top 40 draft-eligible players from across Canada. The camp allows the players exposure to NHL scouts.
Part of the camp is a two-game total points series between the Canada East and Canada West prospects.
Digby will host one of those games.
And today organizers went one step further and announced the possibility of an extra exhibition game between the World Junior A Hockey Challenge teams: Team Canada East versus Team Russia.
Mitch Bonnar is the chair of Yarmouth’s host committee for the World Junior A Hockey Challenge.
He made the announcement today but warned it hasn’t been 100 per cent confirmed.
“We are currently in negotiations to have an exhibition game between Team Canada East and Russia,” he told a crowd in front of the arena. “We just need the Russians approval—it looks good.”
He later told the Courier the final announcement could come “any day now”.
The Canada – Russia game in Digby would be Saturday, Nov. 3. and cost $15.
Harvieux says tickets will probably go on sale after Labour Day, just like for the Prospects game.
The Prospects game on Nov. 10 also costs $15 but includes admission to watch the Prospects teams’ practices.
Digby will also host a free skate and autograph session with the Prospects that will be free and open to everyone.
The provincial government has provided $250,000 in funding to the World Junior A Hockey Challenge.
Bonnar said during his address that the Yarmouth committee agreed early on in discussions with the province that they would share the event with other communities in the region.
“The Yarmouth host committee was looking for a partner for this event that was capable of delivering a world class event with the hospitality to go along with it. Digby has developed a wonderful event hosting reputation and we’re confident this event will help to enhance that reputation,” said Bonnar. “We are looking forward to hosting a great event and creating a legacy for all of Southwest Nova Scotia.”
EDITED Aug. 23, 3:30 p.m. We had incorrectly identified one of the teams playing and have corrrected that to read Czech Republic.