Though most of the 2019 World Junior A Challenge is taking place in Dawson Creek, the tournament will have a Fort St. John feel for a couple reasons. To start, Fort St. John's Mike Vandekamp, the current coach of the Cowichan Valley Capitals of the BCHL, will be an assistant coach for Team Canada West. Secondly, Fort St. John will host two games at the North Peace Arena — an exhibition game between Vandekamp's Canada West and Russia on Thursday, December 5, and a round robin game between Team Canada East and U.S.A. on Wednesday, December 11. Both games start at 7 p.m.
Vandekamp is in his second year as head coach of the Junior A Capitals. They curently sit second in the Island Division with a 13-8-1-1 record, behind Vandekamp's former team, the Nanaimo Clippers. It's a much better start for the Capitals after they struggled last year, finishing with the second-worst record in the BCHL.
The World Junior A Challenge officially kicks off December 7 with two games at the Encana Events Centre in Dawson Creek. Canada East plays Russia at 2 p.m., followed by Canada West and U.S.A. at 7 p.m.The Czech Republic are the other team playing in the tournament. Both the bronze and gold medal games take place on Sunday, December 15.
Joining Vandekamp on the Canada West coaching staff are Joe Martin of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs and Scott Barney of the Humboldt Broncos. Martin will be the head coach.
Tickets are currently on sale for both the two games in Fort St. John and all the World Junior A Challenge games.
Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at email@example.com.