Two days before Christmas, Saginaw Spirit captain, Vincent Trocheck (Florida Panthers third round pick, 64 overall in the 2011 NHL draft) became the second Spirit player this year honored to represent his respective country, as he was named to team USA’s national team which will compete for the 2013 IIHF World Jr. Hockey Championship in Ufa, Russia.
The tournament begins today -December, 26 2012- and will finish with the Gold Medal game on January, 5 2013. Earlier in the month -on December, 13 2012- Spirit goalie, Jake Paterson (Detroit Red Wings third round pick, 80 overall in the 2012 NHL draft) was named to the Canadian national team as an eighteen year-old.
The IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) World Jr. Hockey Championship is a tournament which invites the top ten Hockey Countries in the World to field rosters with 23 of the best players from each respective country to compete for the coveted World Jr. Championship. The tournament annually features the best hockey players in the World who are under the age of twenty. North American players are usually chosen from one of the three major Junior Hockey leagues (OHL, WHL, QMJHL); as well as the top division I NCAA college programs.
Much like the Olympics, each year a different Country will be chosen to host the tournament (now in its thirty-seventh year) and various Cities from that Country will post bids to become one of two “host-Cities.” In 2012, Canada was the Host Country; while Calgary and Edmonton (from the Province of Alberta) won respective bids to become host-Cities. Two Venues (one from each City) were used for the Tournament games. The Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary (home to the Calgary Flames of the NHL) and Rexall Place in Edmonton (home to the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL) were the two venues chosen in 2012.
Throughout the 2012 tournament, there was a total combined attendance of 455,342 fans, averaging 14,688 fans per game. Sweden won the Gold medal at the 2012 Tournament; while Russia took home the Silver, Canada took home Bronze, and Finland finished in fourth place. Evgeny Kuznetsov (Washington Capitals first round pick, 26 overall in the 2010 NHL draft) from Russia was named the 2012 MVP, as he led all scorers with 13 points in the tournament. Kuznetsov currently plays for Traktor Chelyabinsk of the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia. Two former Spirit players represented their respective Countries in the 2012 event. Brandon Saad (Chicago Blackhawks second round pick, 43 overall in the 2011 NHL draft) represented team USA; while Jamie Oleksiak (Dallas Stars first round pick, 14 overall in the 2011 NHL draft) represented Canada.
Trocheck joined team USA for two pre-tournament games; where team USA recorded one win (against Sweden) and one loss (against Finland). Trocheck recorded an assist in the win against Sweden. Trocheck –a nineteen year old native of Pittsburgh, Pa- currently has 24 goals and 26 assists for a total of 50 points, ranking him sixth in scoring for the entire OHL this year.
The Spirit will be back in action without their two stars this week, as they head south on I75 to Plymouth, Mi where they will face their in-state rivals, the Plymouth Whalers at the Compuware Arena on Thursday December, 27 for a 2:00 p.m. afternoon game. The team will then return to Saginaw on Saturday December, 29 for a 7:11 game against the Windsor Spitfires. The December, 29 contest was originally scheduled to take place outside at Comerica Park in Detroit as part of the 2012 NHL Winter Classic festivities; which had the Detroit Red Wings scheduled to play the Toronto Maple Leafs outside at the University of Michigan football stadium. Due to the current NHL lockout, the Winter Classic will take place with the same two teams, at the same location during the 2014 NHL season.
Former Detroit Red Wing goalie (and Stanley Cup Champion), Chris Osgood will be in attendance Saturday night for the game against Windsor. As usual, we will be looking forward to seeing you this Saturday night, down at the Dow….
2013 IIHF World Jr. Tournament nationally televised:
The NHL Network will be broadcasting the 2013 IIHF World Jr. Hockey Championship tournament games nationally. According to the Saginaw Spirit website, NHL Network-US will be Spirit fans access for 2013 tournament coverage; and locally (channel 218) for Charter cable subscribers will be where you can watch the games. The 2013 tournament is expected to have record viewers due to the current NHL lockout. According to saginawspirit.com there will be a total of 18 live games televised this year. Below is a list of games which will feature either Team USA or Team Canada. Tune in to watch your two Spirit players; as well as some thirty other OHL players -who continually visit Saginaw to play games throughout the year- while they represent their respective countries at the 2013 IIHF World Jr. Hockey Championship in Ufa, Russia.
Date Opponent Eastern Time Ufa Time TV Replay
1 -Thurs. Dec 27th Germany 9 am 8 pm 8 pm
2 - Fri. Dec 28th Russia 9 am 8 pm 8 pm
3 - Sun. Dec 30th Canada 4:30 am 3:30 pm 8 pm
4 - Mon. Dec 31st Slovakia 5 am 4 pm 8 pm
1 - Wed. Dec 26th Germany 9 am 3:30 pm 6 pm
2 - Fri. Dec 28th Slovakia 4:30 am 3:30 pm 5:30 pm
3 - Sun. Dec 30th USA 4:30 am 3:30 pm 8 pm
4 - Mon, Dec 31st Russia 9 am 8 pm 5:30 pm
Quarter Finals: Wednesday, January 2,
Semi Finals: Thursday, January 3
Bronze Medal Game: Saturday, January 5
Gold Medal Game: Saturday, January 5