Team Canada West celebrates a goal during the Nov. 11, 2012 gold medal World Junior A Challenge game against Team USA at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth. The game was eventually won by USA by a 6-3 score. The event is coming back to Yarmouth in November 2013. TINA COMEAU PHOTO
By Tina Comeau and Jonathan Riley
THE DIGBY COURIER
For the first time ever, Hockey Canada has awarded the World Junior A Challenge to the same community two years in a row.
Yarmouth will once again host the international tournament and they want Digby to host two or three games.
Details are still being worked out, but Danny Harvieux, facility supervisor at the Digby rink says it will be pretty much like last year: an exhibition game between Canada and a visiting team; a prospects game; and extra this year, we might get to host a consolation game from the main tournament between the fifth and sixth place teams.
Hockey Canada received bids from communities in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia to host this year’s event.
But Riley Wiwchar, Hockey Canada’s manager of marketing services and events, told the Vanguard last Thursday, it just made sense to come back to southwestern Nova Scotia.
“We saw what Yarmouth could do and during the week, once we saw the crowds and people’s excitement, you sort of knew then that maybe there was an opportunity to do it the next year,” said Wiwchar.
Harvieux says he got the same message about Digby.
“I know a lot of other local communities wanted to get in on this,” says Harvieux. “But we did a real good job of making the players and the coaches feel welcome.”
Harvieux says the Digby community went the extra mile, literally, and it paid off.
“Some of the players’ flights were delayed and we were making extra trips through all that snow to pick them up,” says Harvieux. “We didn’t have to do that.
“We put on a full buffet style dinner for them and really treated them with respect. That’s the kind of thing Hockey Canada said they liked about our organization.”
Harvieux says it looks like Digby will host a pre-tournament exhibition game the weekend of Nov. 2 and 3; and then the prospect game and tournament consolation game might go the next weekend, Nov. 9 and 10.
Last year’s World Junior A Challenge included two teams from Canada and teams from the United States, Russia, Czech Republic and Switzerland.
Previous tournaments have included Finland, Germany and Sweden.
As for when tickets will go on sale, that may began as early as the end of this week or very soon thereafter. Full event ticket packages will be sold first.
TSN will also televise the gold medal game live. Other games throughout the week will be webcast by Fast Hockey.