Griffin Mendel and Jonny Tychonick will go from representing the Maple Leaf in blue to red.
The Penticton Vees defencemen are throwing on the Team Canada jersey once again. They are among 11 BCHL players named by Hockey Canada to Team Canada West’s roster for the 2016 World Junior A Challenge (WJAC).
The tournament runs Dec. 11 to 17 in Bonnyville, Alta.
Vees coach-GM Fred Harbinson said it’s outstanding for the pair to be selected.
“I mean really happy for them. Both are very deserving. I think both are going to add a key element to that team,” said Harbinson. “Griffin has been a great shutdown guy for us. Jonny, really since the under-17, has really taken major strides being a great puck moving defenceman in our league. I wish them both the best of luck today to try to win gold.”
Harbinson believes James Miller would have also made the team had he not suffered an injury in the final period of their game Dec. 3 against Powell River.
“When he got there it flared up on him. He’s going to be out for some time, probably about four weeks,” said Harbinson.
Mendel, 17, has played in all 26 Vees games before leaving for camp picking up four assists and is considered one of the top shutdown defencemen in the BCHL. Mendel won gold last year with Team Canada White at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek, B.C.
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Tychonick is the Vees youngest rearguard, but is the highest scoring defenceman on their roster with 13 points in 24 games. Tychonick has already suited up for Canada this season as he was on Team Canada White for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Ontario in November.
Last year Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro helped lead Team Canada West to a gold medal in Cobourg, Ont. Canada West has won gold four times at the tournament (2015, 2012, 2007 and 2006).
The Vees have now been represented by 30 players at the WJAC since the inception of the tournament in 2006, most of any team in the Canadian Junior Hockey League.
All preliminary-round games, quarter-finals, semifinals, and the bronze-medal game can be seen live and free through HockeyTV webcasts at www.hockeycanada.ca/wjac. TSN will carry the gold-medal on Dec. 17.
Former Vees captain Jost shines
Playing on the biggest stage of his National Collegiate Athletic Association career to date – and without benefit of his star linemate – Tyson Jost showed again he’s equal to the challenge.
In a non-conference game at Madison Square Garden in New York – with regular linemate Brock Boeser sidelined with injury – Jost scored twice in the first period helping the University of North Dakota to a 4-3 win over Boston College. The Vees alum was named the National Collegiate Hockey Conference rookie of the week for his showing.
After 16 games so far this season, Jost has seven goals and 10 assists which puts him second in team scoring. The Colorado Avalanche first-round draft pick is also a +9 and leads the team with 55 shots on goal.
Story courtesy of bchl.ca