Barzal, Kolesar, Bear, Pederson & Flodell to play in tournament in Calgary
KENT, October 17, 2012 — Seattle Thunderbirds general manager Russ Farwell today announced five T-Birds prospects have been chosen to take part in the 2012 Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup being held in Calgary, Alberta, from November 1 to November 4.
Center Mathew Barzal, the first overall selection in the 2012 Bantam Draft, will represent Team British Columbia at the tournament. Barzal, from Coquitlam, is currently playing for Vancouver NE Chiefs in the British Columbia Minor Midget Hockey League (BCMMHL).
Right wing Keegan Kolesar was selected by the T-Birds in the first round, 20th overall, in the 2012 Bantam Draft. Kolesar, from Winnipeg, will represent Team Manitoba at the tournament. He is playing in the Manitoba Midget AAA Hockey League (MM3AHL) this season with the Winnipeg Thrashers.
Defenseman Ethan Bear, from Ochapowace, Saskatchewan, will represent Team Saskatchewan at the tournament. Bear was the T-Birds second round selection, 23rd overall, in the 2012 Bantam Draft. He is currently playing for Yorktown Harvest in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League (SMAAAHL).
Goalie Logan Flodell, from Regina, Saskatchewan, will join Bear as a member of Team Saskatchewan. Flodell was the T-Birds’ third round pick, 47th overall, in the 2012 Bantam Draft. He is currently playing with Regina Pat Canadiens in the SMAAAHL.
Center Lane Pederson is also a member of Team Saskatchewan. Pederson, from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, was the T-Birds fifth round selection, 91st overall, in the 2012 Bantam Draft. He is currently playing with the Saskatoon Blazers in the SMAAAHL.
The Challenge Cup will feature the highest rated players in the Under 16 age category in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The four team round robin tournament format is the first step in the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence. The Challenge Cup is made possible through financial support provided by the WHL. The majority of the players participating in the event were selected in the WHL Bantam Draft in June 2012 and many of these top young prospects will play major roles on WHL Clubs in the seasons ahead.
The first ever Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup was held in Blackfalds, Alberta in 2009 and featured four of the top eight players selected in the 2012 NHL Draft; Matt Dumba (Red Deer Rebels), Derek Pouliot (Portland Winterhawks), Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton Oil Kings) and Morgan Reilly (Moose Jaw Warriors).
The T-Birds hit the road for back-to-back games. They are in Spokane to take on the Chiefs Friday at 7:05pm. They then travel to Portland to face the Winterhawks on Saturday at 7pm.
T-Birds single game tickets for the 2012-13 season are available online at the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare Center box office. The ShoWare Center Box Office is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday game days at 10 a.m. and Sunday game days at noon.
T-Birds season tickets are currently on sale. Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.