TRURO, N.S. – It may be an exhibition game, but don’t expect the Truro Bearcats to give an inch when they face off against the Czech Republic on Friday.
The teams meet at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre at 3:30 p.m., as the Czech Republic gets its feet wet in preparation of the World Junior A Challenge.
“We definitely want to get a win,” said Bearcats second-year forward Dylan Burton. “Whenever you play hockey you want to win – it’s just like any other game.”
The game is one of three exhibition tilts scheduled for Friday ahead of the international tournament, which will be played Dec. 10 to 16 at the RECC.
A second pre-tournament game between Canada East and the U.S. will be played at the RECC at 7:30 p.m., while Canada West and Russia will play a tune-up at the Amherst Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
“I think it’s going to be very interesting,” said veteran Bearcats defenceman Tyler Pyke. “I’m sure they’re going to be very skilled and they’re going to be fast, so it’s going to be a good competition for us. It’s going to be a good challenge for us and I’m sure it’s something we can all take something away from.”
The six-team tournament, which also includes Switzerland, is a high-calibre event, which will draw scouts from all NHL teams. The tournament has a long history of players who have gone on to successful NHL careers, including Vladimir Tarasenko, Kyle Turris, David Pasternak and Nikolaj Ehlers, among many others.
The Bearcats are well aware of the skill level they will face on Friday and are looking forward to the chance of competing against some of the top junior A players in the world.
“It’s a great opportunity,” said Pyke. “There’s a lot of big names that go through this tournament.”
And just how do the Bearcats plan on slowing down the highly skilled European squad?
“Lay some body and hopefully we’ll have some success doing that,” said Burton.
Pyke joked there’s also added incentive to do well.
“They’ve taken over our (dressing) room for the week, so that’s what we’re going to be playing for – the battle of our room,” he laughed. “We kind of got evicted there last week, but it’s all fun, so I’m hoping it will be a good turnout, as it should be.”
Tickets for pre-tournament games are still available at HockeyCanada.ca/Tickets or at the RECC and Amherst Stadium box offices.
- Full-tournament packages are available at a cost of $175. This includes all 13 tournament games.
- An evening-game package, which includes a general admission ticket to all six evening games plus the gold-medal game, is now available in limited quantities starting at $99.50.
- Other ticket options include single-game tickets, a $25 Day Pass valid for single-day use Dec. 10-14, and a Family Four-Pack for $49.50.
- Tickets can be purchased online at HockeyCanada.ca/Tickets, in-person at the RECC, or by calling 1.888.311.9090.
(All games at the RECC)
Sunday, Dec. 10
Canada West vs. Czech Republic, 3:30 p.m.
Russia vs. Canada East, 7:30 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 11
Czech Republic vs. United States, 3:30 p.m.
Canada East vs. Switzerland, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 12
Switzerland vs. Russia, 3:30 p.m.
United States vs. Canada West, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 13
Quarterfinal #1, 3:30 p.m.
Quarterfinal #2, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 14
Semifinal #1, 3:30 p.m.
Semifinal #2, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 15
Fifth-place game, 3:30 p.m.
Bronze-medal game, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 16
Gold-medal game, 3 p.m.