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Hockey Manitoba names elite players

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Hockey Manitoba has whittled down its list to identify this province’s best young stars.

Today the organization announced its 2012 Under-16 and Under-18 Team Manitoba rosters as part of their Program of Excellence identification process that began back in April with a spring tournament. The U-16 team is comprised of the province’s top male players born in 1997 and now in their first year of midget hockey. The U-18 squad features Manitoba’s best female players, born in 1995 and 1996.

Manitoba’s U-16 team captured a silver medal at the 2011 Western Canada Challenge Cup and will travel to Calgary next month to compete for the same trophy. It is lead by head coach Dan Eliasson of the AAA Midget Winnipeg Thrashers and features 16 players who were drafted last spring in the Western Hockey League bantam draft. Assisting Eliasson will be Brad Purdie of the University of Manitoba Bisons along with Doug Sinclair and Jason Bauer of the Thrashers.

The U-18 team is coming off a bronze-medal performance at the 2011 National Women’s U-18 Championships and heads to this November’s nationals in Dawson Creek, B.C. The team will be led by head coach Ashley van Aggelen, who will be assisted by Neil Chow of the Winnipeg Hawks, Lisa Peters of the Bisons and Andrea Keating of the Assiniboine Park Rangers.

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