World Junior A Challenge comes to Fort St. John on Thursday

Once again, Fort St. John and the North Peace Arena will be host to the world’s best young hockey players. The 2019 World Junior A Hockey Challenge will be in Fort St. John for an exhibition game Thursday, December 5 at 7 p.m. between Russia and Canada West, and a round robin game December 11 between Canada East and U.S.A.

While Junior A doesn’t quite carry the big-time feel that the World Under 17s did, there are 132 Junior A teams in Canada as part of the CJHL, and any time you make a team from such a large a pool, you’re bound to have some really great players.

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“These players will be heavily scouted this week and I’m very excited to watch these games. It will be great hockey,” said Paul van Nostrand, who, along with Lee Hartman and the Fort St. John Flyers, are the main force behind hosting the two games in Fort St. John.

While the majority of the tournament is in Dawson Creek, van Nostrand is grateful that Hockey Canada put a couple games in Fort St. John and elsewhere.

“There are only five teams this time instead of eight. The Encana Events Centre is more than capable of hosting the entire tournament, so we are thankful for the opportunity to host these games in this great hockey town” said van Nostrand.

“You can never have too much of a Canada-Russia game at any level.” 

Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at

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