Some of Manitoba and Saskatchewan's best grain-fed Prairie boys will make up the U-17 Team West roster heading to the 2013 World Under-17 Challenge later this winter.
Hockey Manitoba and the Saskatchewan Hockey Association announced the 22-player roster that will take part in the event, being held in Victoriaville/Drummondville, Que. beginning in late December.
Team West was selected from a pool of 68 players born in 1996 and is comprised of 14 players from Saskatchewan and eight from Manitoba. The roster features 14 players currently in the Western Hockey League, along with six from Midget AAA and two from Junior A.
The eight Manitobans who made the squad are defencemen Justin Baudry (La Broquerie/Steinbach Pistons), Justin Thomson (Wawanesa/Kamloops Blazers), Travis Sanheim (Elkhorn/Yellowhead Chiefs) and Reid Zalitach (Narol/Vancouver Giants), forwards Jayce Hawryluk (Roblin/Brandon Wheat Kings), Adam Brooks (Winnipeg/Regina Pats) and Ryley Lindgren (East St. Paul/Winnipeg Thrashers) and goaltender Ty Edmonds (Winnipeg/Virden Oil Capitals).
Seven of the eight Manitoba players are U-16 Team Manitoba alumni who won silver at the 2011 Western Canada Under-16 Challenge Cup in Moose Jaw.
Team West is led by Winnipeg Blues head coach Don MacGillivray and assistants David Anning of the Wheat Kings and Malcolm Cameron of the Pats and is looking to improve from last year's 10th-place finish. The squad is in a tough pool, along with Team Pacific, Finland, Sweden and Russia.
Team West will kick off action on Dec. 28 in its sole exhibition match versus Slovakia in Saint-Pierre-les-Bécquets.
Wesmen's Iko honoured again
BENNY IKO of the University of Winnipeg Wesmen basketball squad is having a good week.
Iko, a fifth-year forward who posted back-to-back double-doubles in a two-game sweep of the Brandon Bobcats last weekend, has been named the Canada West Male Athlete of the Week for the period ending Nov. 18.
Iko scored 40 points, hauled in 25 rebounds and drained six-three pointers in the two victories.
The Wesmen (4-2) are currently riding a four-game winning streak and will be on the road to take on Trinity Western and Fraser Valley this Friday and Saturday.
Kaspic, Dola lead Midget AAA
THE Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League Players of the Week are Tanner Kaspick of the Brandon Wheat Kings (West Division) and Hayden Dola of the Interlake Lightning (East Division).
Kaspick, 14, posted a plus/minus rating of +5 and was involved in six of the nine goals the Wheat Kings scored in their three games while extending his personal point-scoring streak to seven games. In the process, he helped the Wheaties extend their unbeaten streak to 13 games.
Kaspick had a pair of assists in Brandon's 4-2 win over Southwest Cougars and added two more assists in the 3-0 win over Eastman Selects, then had a goal and an assist in a 2-1 victory over Interlake Lightning.
Dola finished off an impressive three-game stretch in which he stopped 113 of the 121 shots while posting an impressive .934 save percentage.
On Saturday against Parkland Rangers, the 15-year-old stopped 39 of the 41 shots he faced in Interlake's 3-2 victory, then was bombarded with 46 shots in a 2-1 loss to the league-leading Wheat Kings.
Fehr, Rey athletes of week
EVAN FEHR of the Springs Christian Academy Eagles Volleyball team is this week's Home Run Sports Urban High School athlete of the week.
A 6-2 middle blocker, Fehr led the Eagles to the Zone 12 Championship, earning a spot at the AAA Provincial Volleyball Championships as the top seed. A Grade 12 student, Fehr also participates in basketball, badminton and track and field.
The Tri-Star rural athlete of the week is BREANNE REY of the St. Claude Olympiens Volleyball team. The 5-9 left side/middle led her team to a season record of 44 wins and 41 losses, highlighted by a second-place finish in Treherne and a third-place finish in Elm Creek tournaments. Rey, a Grade 12 student, maintains an average of 88 per cent, while also competing in track & field.