Peninsula player picked for Challenge

He might come from the East, but Niagara-on-the-Lake native Zachary Pryzbek will represent the West at the 2012 World Junior A Hockey Challenge, Nov. 5-11 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

The 18-year-old Pryzbek, a rookie with the Coquitlam Express of the British Columbia Hockey League, was named by Hockey Canada as part of the West team for the international competition.

Pryzbek, a 6-4, 205 forward, has six points ( 3-3) in 14 games with the Express.

The West roster was selected by Canada West head coach Dean Brockman (St. Benedict, Sask./Humboldt, SJHL), along with assistant coaches Jason McKee (Irma, Alta./Spruce Grove, AJHL) and Ryan Smith (Headingley, Man./Selkirk, MJHL) following a four-day selection camp at the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary.

Players named to the Canada West roster were selected from the CJHL’s five western Junior A leagues: the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) and Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL).

The 2012 World Junior A Challenge will be held at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth. Canada West will play in Group A, joined by the Czech Republic and Russia, while Canada East, Switzerland and the United States will comprise Group B.

Canada West has appeared in five of the six gold medal games at the World Junior A Challenges, winning gold in 2006 in Yorkton, Sask., 2007 in Trail, B.C., and last year in Langley, B.C. It settled for silver in 2008 in Camrose, Alta., and 2009 in Summerside, P.E.I., and finished fourth in 2010 in Penticton, B.C.