Players from 10 different countries slated to compete at annual 15U tournament
The third annual World Youth Championships (WYC) in Philadelphia are set to begin on Friday. Thirty-eight teams will compete in the ’08 Division, with players from as many as 10 different countries in attendance. More than 500 individuals from the U.S. and Canada, as well teams from Czech Republic, Slovakia and Russia will be on hand. Players from Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Austria and China are also rostered amongst participating teams.
Over the course of the next three days, teams will compete in five pool-play games. From there, 16 teams will advance to the single-elimination playoffs, where a champion will be determined by Tuesday afternoon.
Maroon Hockey won the ‘07 tournament last spring, and the organization returns to defend its title. Blue Army won the inaugural ‘06 tournament in 2021, and they too, look to win a second WYC title as well. In that span, 54.1 percent of all games have been decided by two goals or fewer. The ’08 WYC is loaded with teams in an event that’s proven to be highly competitive. The next 90-plus games from the Voorhees Skate Zones are certain to be high level, and packed with late-game heroics.
Second major tournament in a week for Provorovs Selects
Less than a week after playing in the 15U World Selects Invitational, Provorovs Selects remains states-side to compete in the ’08 WYC. The 800-mile trip from Nashville to Philadelphia this week was a quick jaunt compared to the 5,000-mile transcontinental flight from Yaroslavl, Russia.
Provorovs Selects went 3-2-0 in pool play at the WSI, and was knocked out in the first round of playoffs. Aleksandr Shalabanov, Dmitrii Drobyshevskii and Vladimir Provorov will be hoping for better results this week in Philly.
Shalabanov led the team in scoring with eight points, factoring in on the offense in all six tournament games. He’ll need to continue that production at the ’08 WYC for Provorovs to have success.
Provorovs Selects won’t be the only organization to compete at both events back-to-back. Boston Hockey Club, DevCo Hockey, DraftDay and National Hockey Prospects will all migrate from Nashville to Philly for this weekend’s event.
Players to watch at the ‘08 WYC
Alex McLean is coming off of a record-breaking performance at last week’s WSI. He’ll look to continue his dominance over the ‘08 birth year while skating for Everest Academy this Friday. McLean will once again be joined by Kent Greer. The tandem played together this season for No. 3 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite. They also helped CCM All Out win the WSI championship last week. Can McLean and Greer help carry another team to a championship this week in Philadelphia?
Rudolfs Berzkalns and Max Crete — CCM All Out teammates of McLean and Greer’s — will now become foes at the World Youth Championships. They worked together to win the ‘08 WSI championship on Sunday and will now compete against one another to win a WYC.
Berzkalns scored nine goals and 25 points last week. He joins an Evolve Hockey team loaded with players from Pens Elite and Bishop Kearney Selects.
Maroon Hockey looks to defend its title as 15U WYC champs with a bevy of top Canadian prospects. Alessandro Di Iorio, Evan Hendrick and Andrew Robinson are among those suiting up for Maroon after playing this past season for No. 1 Vaughan Kings.
Top talent from the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) will suit up for WCAN Prime as well. Edge School’s Cruz Pavao and Landon DuPont, as well as Northern Alberta Xtreme’s Knox Bendera and Maddox Rose were standout performers in Western Canada’s top youth hockey league this past season.
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