Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Juha and Loik Selected to WJAC

Luke Juha will don the Canadian sweater at the World Junior A Challenge for the second time.

Penn State 2012 commits Luke Juha and Curtis Loik have been named to the Team Canada West roster for the upcoming World Junior A Challenge. The event runs from November 7th-13th in Langley, BC and showcases the best Jr. A players from across Canada (which is split into east and west teams), the United States, Russia, the Czech Republic and Sweden.

Canada West will play in Group A with the U.S. and Sweden. Following a round-robin preliminary round, the group winner will advance to the semifinal round, while the second and third place teams will play in a quarterfinal for the right to advance to the semifinals. The semifinal winners will meet for the gold medal on the final day of the event.

Both Loik and Juha solidified their spots on the team with strong performances in the team's two selection camp scrimmages Monday and Tuesday. Juha had an assist in each game, while Loik scored twice in Tuesday's tilt, just a couple hours before final cuts were made.

This isn't Juha's first go at the WJAC. In 2010, as a member of Team Canada East, he had an assist in five games and ended up with a silver medal after losing the final to Team USA. Canada West finished fourth last year, but won gold at the first two WJACs in 2006 and 2007, and took silver in 2008 and 2009.

Other NCAA-committed players on the Canada West squad include Troy Stecher (Nebraska-Omaha), Sam Jardine (Ohio State), Rhett Holland (Michigan State), Colton Parayko (Alaska), Carson Cooper (Yale), Aaron Hadley (Western Michigan), Brandon Morley (Merrimack), Peter Quenneville and Travis St. Denis (Quinnipiac), Michael Stenerson (Alaska-Anchorage), Evan Richardson (Boston College) and Jujhar Khaira (Michigan Tech). Jardine was also a sixth-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks at this year's NHL Entry Draft.

In addition to Juha, fellow 2012 recruit Reed Linaker also took part in the 2010 WJAC, for Canada West. He scored twice and added an assist for the fourth-place team.

Team Canada West Schedule
Thursday, November 3: Canada East (exhibition), 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 5: Russia (exhibition), 10:00 p.m.
Tuesday, November 8: Sweden, 10:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 9: USA, 10:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 10: Quarterfinals, 7:00 p.m./10:30 p.m.
Friday, November 11: Semifinals, 7:00 p.m./10:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 12: 5th place game/bronze medal game, 3:00 p.m./10:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 13: Gold medal game, 8:00 p.m.

All games webcast via FastHockey.

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