By Dave Leaderhouse
There will only be one representative from the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge and it will be behind the bench and not on the ice.
Team West released its final roster for the annual international tournament on Wednesday and none of the four SJHL hopefuls that were invited to the selection camp made the final grade.
Chase Felguerias from the Humboldt Broncos, Vincent Nardone from the Flin Flon Bombers and the Notre Dame Hounds’ duo of Tim Gould and Nolan Renwick were among the 22 cuts and will return to their respective teams this weekend. For Gould it was the second straight year that he auditioned for the squad and was not included in the final roster.
That leaves just Estevan Bruins head coach and general manager Chris Lewgood with the Team West entry as he will be one of the assistant coaches for the team that begins play on Sunday when the five-team championship gets under way in Bonnyville, Alta.
There were 44 players from the five most western Junior “A” circuits invited to the selection camp with the Superior International Junior Hockey League also being shutout when the roster was finalized. The British Columbia Junior Hockey League dominates the team with 14 players to wear the Team Canada colours while the Alberta Junior Hockey League will have five and the Manitoba Junior Hockey League will have three.
Team West will begin defence of its title when they open the tournament against the United States. Other teams involved in the week-long event include Team East from Canada, the Czech Republic and Russia. Previous years had six teams competing in the event, but Switzerland has withdrawn this time around.