Merritt Centennial and former Trail Smoke Eater AP Dane Birks was selected to the Canada West team roster Wednesday.
The Pittsburgh Penguins sixth-round draft pick will join nine other players from the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) in the six-team 2013 World Junior A Challenge tournament starting on Monday.
The roster was selected by Canada West head coach Jason McKee (Spruce Grove, AJHL), along with assistant coaches Trent Cassan (Yorkton, SJHL) and Ryan Smith (Selkirk, MJHL), and team manager Shawn Bullock (Hockey Canada) following a four-day selection camp at the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary last week.
Players named to the Canada West selection camp roster were selected from the CJHL’s five western Junior A leagues: the BCHL, Alberta Junior Hockey League, Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, Manitoba Junior Hockey League and Superior International Junior Hockey League.
BCHL players lacing them up for Canada West are goalie Jesse Jenks from Prince George; Defencemen: Adam Plant, West Kelowna, Paul Stoykewych, Penticton, and Victor Dombovskiy, Langley. Forwards: Steen Cooper, Cowichan Valley, Demico Hannoun Vernon, Alex Gillies, Salmon Arm, Jeff Wight, Merritt, and Kurt Keats, Powell River.
Canada West will play in Group B during the 2013 World Junior A Challenge, joined by the Czech Republic and Switzerland, while Canada East, Russia and the United States will comprise Group A.
Preliminary round play will run until Wednesday, with both semifinals taking place Nov. 8. The gold medal game, which will be shown nationally on TSN, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, is set for Sunday, Nov. 10. All preliminary round games, quarter-finals, semifinals and the bronze medal game can be seen live via webcast through www.hockeycanada.ca.