Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
The World Junior Championships in December are well of at this point for many Canadian hockey fans. The early mornings and excellent hockey from such young players is just a distant thought for fans today. However, for the young men who are hoping to wear red and white and end the gold medal drought for Canada, their journey begins now. Canada has assembled a team of under 18 players to compete in the annual U18 tournament in Finland.
Thus far Canada is undefeated at the U18 tournament with victories over Slovakia, Germany and Sweden. They can sweep their A division and remain undefeated with a win over Russia. Team Canada’s roster includes players primarily born in between 1996 and 1997 from players in the CHL. Canada has won gold at the U18 Tournament three times with their latest gold coming from last year. Kevin Dineen was named coach for the mens U18 team after leading the Canadian women to a gold medal in Sochi.
Canada is led by their captain Rolan McKeown who plays defence for the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL. Jake Virtanen has led the way offencively with 4 points in the 3 games, followed closely by Brendan Perlini with 3 points, while Mason McDonald has 2 wins for the red and white.
We will continue to update you on team Canada at the U18 tournament which is one step on their road to the World Juniors.