World junior hockey pre-tournament games coming to PMC
Former Peterborough Petes' player Larry Murphy gathers for a photograph with Keith Wightman Public School students Joshua Baird, left, Justin Clark and Rhiannon King proudly displaying Switzerland, Czech Rebulic and Slovakia flags as RBC and Hockey Canada together with local RBC Learn to Skate participants announce details of the RBC Road to the World Juniors pre-competition tour and localities’ roles in the tournament on Thursday, Nov, 13, 2014 at the RBC Royal Bank in Peterborough, ON. Clifford Skarstedt/Peterborough Examiner/QMI AgencyClifford Skarstedt/Peterborough Examiner/QMI Agency
By Mike Davies,
Friday, November 14, 2014
Hockey Canada hopes Peterborough will adopt Slovakia as their own for a five-day training camp prior to the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships.
Slovakia's national junior team will make the Memorial Centre its training camp base Dec. 19-23 including two pre-tournament games 7 p.m. Dec. 21 against Switzerland and 7 p.m. Dec. 23 versus Czech Republic.
It's part of the RBC Road to the World Juniors Tour of 10 pre-tournament games in eight Ontario and Quebec cities prior to the big tournament in Toronto and Montreal starting Dec. 26. Local details were announced Thursday during a press conference at the RBC Lansdowne St. W branch featuring officials from RBC, Hockey Canada, the Petes, city and Hockey Hall of Fame defenceman and ex-Pete Larry Murphy.
As tournament hosts Hockey Canada looked to partner with Canadian Hockey League centres for pre-tournament games and training camps.
“These teams from Europe want to be made to feel like they're at home,” said Hockey Canada director of business development and partnerships Bruce Newton. “We hope the people of Peterborough will really open their arms up and make them feel welcome.
“Coming to a rich hockey culture like Peterborough we know they'll appreciate great hockey and they're going to see great hockey with these three teams,” Newton said.
The Petes will help with game day operations and meeting the team's daily needs. Petes' GM Mike Oke said defenceman Dominik Masin will get consideration for the Czech team. He points to Lino Martschini (Switzerland) and Peter Ceresnak (Slovakia) as recent connections to each team.
“It will showcase to our fans elite hockey players from around the world,” said Oke. “It's a great opportunity for the community as a whole to support an event like this because it could lead to other events which is great for the economy and great for hockey fans.”
City of Peterborough arenas division manager Sue Warrington said every effort was made to keep it affordable to draw as many fans as possible.
“This is not a huge money maker by any means. We're looking to cover our costs to make this accessible to everybody,” said Warrington.
Tickets go on sale Friday online and at the PMC box office ranging from $7.50 for balcony seats to $17.50 regular bowl and $23 club seating. Two-game packs reduce the cost by $2. Fans can watch training camp for free by bringing a donation for Kawartha Food Share.
Murphy played in the 1980 world juniors in Helsinki, Finland when the Petes represented Canada. They posted a 4-2 record finishing fifth.
“Putting on the Canadian sweater is an honour you never get tired of and will always cherish,” Murphy said. “We played the host Fins in game one and ended up losing 2-1. I blame the officials. I don't think the people of Helsinki would agree with me. We played the Soviets in game two and Vladimir Krutov was the top young Soviet player at that time and was compared to Wayne Gretzky. Rightly so, the Soviets went on to win the gold.”
Branch manager Karalee Murray said RBC's commitment to hockey includes funding the RBC Learn to Skate program which covers equipment, ice costs and lessons for 50 local children through schools like Keith Wightman.
“This event is a little bit more than a game to RBC,” said Murray. “RBC has pledged a five-year $100 million promise to improve the well being of one million children and youth in Canada.”