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Team Ontario set for 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge

Team Ontario Director of Operations Barclay Branch along with Head Coach Troy Smith, Assistant coaches Roger Hunt and Wayne Clark recently announced the 22-man roster for Ontario's Under-17 Team that will compete at the upcoming 2013 World Hockey Challenge being held in Victoriaville and Drummondville, Quebec from December 29, 2012 through January 4, 2013.

The roster includes 21 players currently competing in the Ontario Hockey League, and 19 players that played minor midget in Ontario Hockey Federation programs. 

“I am pleased with the players we have selected to represent Ontario at this year’s World Hockey Challenge.  Every player going through the Under-17 evaluation process is committed to excellence, which makes it challenging when making decisions on who will ultimately make the team. There is always disappointment for those players who are not selected, however, we as a staff believe that we have put together a group of athletes who will represent Ontario with pride and class both on and off the ice and are capable of winning the Gold medal at this year's World Hockey Challenge stated Director of Operations Barclay Branch."

"The skill level of the players selected to represent Ontario at this year's event indicates that the minor hockey system in Ontario is continuing to produce high performance athletes as well as quality citizens stated second year head coach Troy Smith.”

The team will depart for Quebec on December 27th where they will begin play in the World Hockey Challenge on December 29, 2012 through January 4, 2013. The tournament features 10 teams, 5 regional teams and 5 International teams in 2 conferences.

The 2 top teams from each conference will advance to the semi-finals while the remaining 3 teams from each group will crossover for placement games.  Team Ontario will play in a conference with Slovakia, Team Atlantic, Team Pacific and Quebec.  Last season Team Ontario earned the bronze medal at the event held in Windsor, ON.

The Hockey Development Centre for Ontario (HDCO) facilitates the Men’s Under-17 hockey program on behalf of the 3 Ontario Branches of Hockey Canada.

Team Ontario for 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge:

Matthew Mancina (Leamington Flyers/Sun County Panthers)
Brent Moran (Niagara IceDogs/Ottawa Jr. 67’s)

Roland McKeown (Kingston Frontenacs/Toronto Marlboros)
Brandon Prophet (Saginaw Spirit/Upper Canada Cyclones)
Conor Cummins (Sudbury Wolves/Whitby Wildcats)
Aaron Ekblad (Barrie Colts/Sun County Panthers)
Jacob Middleton (Owen Sound Attack/Huron Perth Lakers)
Daniel De Sousa (Belleville Bulls/Toronto Marlboros)
Dylan DiPerna (Kingston Frontenacs/Mississauga Rebels)

Connor McDavid (Erie Otters/Toronto Marlboros)
Eric Cornel (Peterborough Petes/Upper Canada Cyclones)
Sam Bennett (Kingston Frontenacs/Toronto Marlboros)
Jared McCann (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds/London Jr. Knights Gold)
Niki Petti (Belleville Bulls/Southern Tier Admirals)
Spencer Watson (Kingston Frontenacs/London Jr. Knights Gold)
Josh Ho-Sang (Windsor Spitfires/Toronto Marlboros)
Michael Dal Colle (Oshawa Generals/Vaughan Kings)
Brett Hargrave (Sarnia Sting/Mississauga Rebels)
Robby Fabbri (Guelph Storm/Mississauga Rebels)
Dante Salituro (Ottawa 67’s/Don Mills Flyers)
Damian Bourne (Mississauga Steelheads/Mississauga Rebels)
Jaden Lindo (Owen Sound Attack/Toronto Marlboros)

Team Personnel:
Director of Operations - Barclay Branch (Belleville Bulls)
Head Coach - Troy Smith (Kitchener Rangers)
Assistant Coach - Roger Hunt (Oshawa Generals)
Assistant Coach – Wayne Clark (Peterborough Petes)
Athletic Therapist – Rich Rotenberg (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Equipment Manager - Matt Sands (Belleville Bulls)

Best of luck to Team Ontario at the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge!