The calendar year is coming to a close and much of the yearly excitement is behind us. But for the Canadian men’s Junior Development Squad, there is still work to do. Two Canadian squads (U17 & U21) will be heading to Moorpark, California for warm-weather training and competitive matches against the United States’ junior programs.
According to NextGEN High Performance Manager, Hugh Purvis, the opportunity to get international competition is extremely valuable for setting these young athletes up for what’s coming next.
“The Men’s National Team have had a fantastic year in 2019, winning the Hockey Series Finals and qualifying for Tokyo 2020,” Purvis said. “We need to ensure we’re providing the next generation of athletes. It’s important to offer international match opportunities and a quality daily training environment to ensure they’re ready to transition into the men’s program in the next 1-3 years.”
Not only are the competition repetitions important for the developing athletes, the USA are also one of the top teams in the Pan American region. The 2020 Junior Pan American Championship is being held next fall in Chile and Purvis said getting some early understanding of the USA side will be valuable as well. Each team (U17 &U21) will play four matches during the training tour. See the match schedule below.
“USA junior programs have been active participating in European opportunities and it’s great for us to evaluate our athletes at the end of the year, recognize gaps and prepare for 2020,” he said.
The 2020 Junior Pan American Championship is Canada’s gateway to the 2021 Junior World Cup. Canada finished second at the 2016 Junior Pan American Championship, qualifying them for the Junior World Cup in 2017.
Even though this tour marks the end of the 2019 programming, it can very easily be seen as the start of the build towards the Junior Pan American Championship next year at this time.
Head Coach: Geoff Matthews
Manager: Alison McGillvray
AT: Ayesha Koome
|Leighton Charles De Souza||ONT|
Head Coach: Nick Hignell
Manager: Hugh Purvis
Physio: Guy Robertson
November 24 – CAN vs USA – 3pm
November 25 – CAN vs USA – 3pm
November 27 – CAN vs USA – 3pm
November 28 – CAN vs USA – 830am
November 24 – CAN vs USA – 1pm
November 25 – CAN vs USA – 1pm
November 27 – CAN vs USA – 1pm
November 28 – CAN vs USA – 7am