Langley Rivermen trio invited to WJAC Canada West selection camp

At a selection camp that begins this Saturday, a trio of Langley Rivermen will be vying for the privilege of representing their country.

In preparation for the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge (WJAC), the Canada West selection camp is being held in Calgary.

Rivermen goaltender Bo Didur, centre Marcus Vela and defenceman Jake Kearley will try and crack the Canada West squad for the WJAC.

“I’m really excited for them,” Rivermen head coach and general manager Bobby Henderson said. “It’s a nice honour for them to be recognized.

I’m sure they’re not going to be satisfied with just going to camp. All three will go with the intention of making the team.”

Didur has been one of the best goalies in the BCHL this year, sporting an impressive 2.58 goals against average, which ranks fifth in the league.

The second year goaltender also has 11 wins including one shutout and a .924 save percentage.

“Bo’s been great for us all year,” stated Henderson. “He’s given us a chance to win every game he’s been in. He’s very athletic and competitive, and I hope he has a great showing.”

Vela, also in his second BCHL season, is among the leaders in scoring for Langley this year. His 22 points are good for third on the team and his 18 assists is the highest among Rivermen players. He was recently on the NHL Players to Watch list for the month of November.

“He’s one of the top centre men in the league,” Henderson said. “He can play the game any style as well as play in all situations from power plays and penalty kill, which should help his cause.”

The final Rivermen attending selection camp is defenseman Jake Kearley. Standing 6’4” and weighing 220 pounds, Kearley leads all Rivermen defencemen in scoring with 14 points, including four goals. The Newmarket, Ont., product brings his physical presence to camp as well as his scoring ability.

“Physically he’s proven himself in the league,” Henderson said. “Now it’s just a matter of highlighting the rest of his game and hopefully he can show that off to the guys in camp.”

In total, 60 players have been invited to the selection camp for Canada West, which begins this Saturday, Dec. 6 at the Markin MacPhail Centre and runs until Tuesday, Dec. 9. The roster is expected to be finalized by Wednesday, Dec. 10.

Once the final roster is named, the team will head to the site of the 2014 WJAC in Kindersley, Sask.

The tournament runs from Dec. 14-20 and features six teams – Canada West, Canada East, USA, Russia, Switzerland, and Denmark.

Canada West and the United States are the only teams to have won the WJAC.

Canada West has won the event three times, the last being in 2011 at the Langley Events Centre.

The United States has won the event five times including last year in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

ICE CHIPS: The Rivermen’s Brayden Tonogai will be one of the trainers travelling with Canada West throughout selection camp and the tournament.

Players represent the part of the country that their junior A club plays in, rather than their place of birth.

 

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