Bertolucci takes big stride in selection camp

A Montrose resident is one step away from playing against the world’s best.

Luke Bertolucci is one of 23 players short-listed to play for Team Pacific at the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Windsor, Ont., Dec. 29 to Jan. 4.

A Montrose resident is one step away from playing against the world’s best.

Luke Bertolucci is one of 23 players short-listed to play for Team Pacific at the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Windsor, Ont., Dec. 29 to Jan. 4.

BC Hockey announced last week that the players were selected based on the B.C. Hockey U17 provincial camp in Salmon Arm in July.

A total of 41 players competed for the positions.

“BC Hockey is very excited by the quality of hockey that took place in Salmon Arm,” said Jim Dinwoodie, Team Pacific assistant coach in a press release.

“The players made life tough on the evaluators and staff during the camp, and that is what we challenged them to do.”

The 16-year-old forward plays for the major midget Kootenay Ice. He joins Ice teammate, goalie Jarrod Schamerhorn from Kelowna among the players still vying for a final spot on the team.

Team Pacific selects 11 players from B.C. and 11 from Alberta to play in the U-17 tournament.

Bertolucci and other short-listed players continue to be evaluated as they play with their club teams.

The final 11 are chosen in November.

“The first step was being shortlisted, now the hard work begins for the staff and players,” said David Michaud, assistant director of operations for Team Pacific.

“We will play close attention to see how the players start their respective seasons.”

The World U-17 Hockey Challenge is the first stage of Hockey Canada’s program of excellence. Team Pacific will compete against Canada West, Quebec and Atlantic as well as teams from Russia, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic and United States.

In 2010 Team Pacific earned a bronze medal after defeating Quebec 5-4 in overtime.