Stankoven, Garand to wear Maple Leaf as Canada opens rescheduled World Junior Championship

Blazers suit up for Canada

A pair of Kamloops Blazers will don the Maple Leaf on Wednesday as Canada begins pool play at the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton.

Forward Logan Stankoven and goaltender Dylan Garand are on the Canadian roster, and both are expected to be in the lineup for Wednesday’s tournament opener against Latvia.

The tournament is typically played in December and January, but was rescheduled this year. The tournament began on Boxing Day but was scrapped after a handful of games due to the spread of COVID-19.

Canada and Latvia will face off at 3 p.m. on Wednesday. Team Canada will then play Slovakia on Thursday, the Czech Republic on Saturday and Finland on Monday.

All games will be broadcast on TSN.

2 Rockets win gold at Hlinka Gretzky Cup

2 Rockets win gold

Kelowna Rockets forward Andrew Cristall and defenceman Caden Price have won gold with team Canada at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup after a 4-1 win over Sweden in the finals.

Anything less than first place would have been a let down for team Canada as they dominated the competition, outscoring their opponents by a whopping total of 34 goals for and just three goals against.

Canada got on the board first, just shy of the six-minute mark when Regina Pats forward Tanner Howe found room at the side of the net, lifting the puck into the goal from a sharp angle.

Sweden tied the game with 8:03 left to play in the opening frame, but Canada got the go ahead goal before the period closed out with a power play tally from Ethan Gauthier to make it 2-1.

Calum Ritchie and Brayden yager got the last two goals for Canada, sealing the deal on their first gold medal in four years.

Cristall (1 goal, 5 assists) and Price (1 goal, 4 assists) played in all five games, both finishing the tournament with a point per game or more.

Kelowna native signs NHL entry-level contract with Chicago

Luypen inks 1st NHL deal

Jalen Luypen's star is on the rise.

The Kelowna native, who was passed over by the top teams throughout minor hockey, has signed his first NHL contract.

The 20-year-old centre, selected in the seventh round of the 2021 NHL draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, signed a three-year entry-level contract earlier this week.

The standard contract includes an NHL salary of $750,000, and a minor league salary of $80,000. It includes a $92,500 signing bonus in each year of the deal.

Luypen, passed over in the 2020 draft, had a breakout season with the WHL's Edmonton Oil Kings last season.

He set career highs in goals (29), assists (35) and points (64). His 29 goals were third on the team and 64 points ranked fourth.

"Jalen's overall game has made big strides over the past year, as shown by his and his team's success last season," said Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson.

"His strong work ethic is what we're looking for in our prospects and that attitude is what will make a huge difference in the future."

Luypen, listed at five-foot-ten, 155 pounds, told Castanet News after last year's draft he was told throughout his minor hockey career he wouldn't make it.

"There's nothing that makes me happier, and makes me want to go on, than those people that tell me I can't do it. That's what drives me, that's what fuels me," Luypen said at the time.

Luypen, who has one more year of junior eligibility remaining, will likely get a shot at beginning his professional career with the Blackhawks AHL affiliate in Rockford, Ill.

Kelowna Rockets return to a normal training camp regimen

Rocket rookie camp returns

For the first time since 2019, the Kelowna Rockets will hold a complete training camp schedule.

The schedule will include a full rookie camp followed by a main camp.

The club held an abbreviated training camp prior to the shortened 2020-2021 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In advance of last season, the team held only a main camp.

Rookie camp will run from Sept. 1 to 3, with the five day main camp beginning Sept. 4.

A full roster for both will be released at a later date.

The Rockets open their five-game pre season schedule in Kamloops Sept. 9, before hosting the same Blazers the following night at Prospera Place.

They'll host Portland to kick off the regular season Saturday, Sept. 24.

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