Dubuque to Represent USHL at Junior Club World Cup
Thursday May 30, 2013
Clark Cup champs to face junior league champions from around the globe during international tournament
Following a championship 2012-13 season in the USHL, the Dubuque Fighting Saints will take their team to the other side of the world in August to compete in the 2013 Junior Club World Cup.
The international event, hosted in Omsk, Russia and sanctioned by the International Ice Hockey Federation, features top junior league champions from eight different countries competing over seven days in the most prestigious international club championship in hockey. It is the third year for the tournament, which is jointly organized by the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, the Russian Junior League (MHL), and the Russian Ministry of Sport.
For the second consecutive season, a USHL team will represent the United States in the tournament. In August 2012, the Waterloo Black Hawks inaugurated the USHL’s participation, surprising the world by capturing the silver medal with the youngest team at the event. The “Baby Hawks”, who quickly became a crowd favorite even after defeating the host Omsk Hawks, champions of the MHL, finished the tournament with a 4-2 record that included victories over teams representing the Czech Republic, Norway, Russia, and Sweden.
Dubuque will compete in the four-team “Group A” during preliminary action with the Vitkovice Steel (Czech Republic junior national champion), the host Omsk Hawks (returning as champions of the MHL), and HC Riga (the top team from Latvia in the MHL).
“Group B” consists of HV 71 (Sweden national champion), HPK (Finland national champion), Dynamo-Shinnik (the top team from Belarus in the MHL), plus the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League, who return after winning the gold medal at the 2012 Junior Club World Cup.
Following round-robin play in both Group A and Group B, the top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinal round and the opportunity to compete for a medal. The remaining four teams will compete in the consolation round.
"We're honored to receive an invitation to the Junior Club World Cup in Omsk,” said Dubuque Fighting Saints President Dan Lehv. “For our organization to be showcased on this international stage is incredibly exciting. We are proud to represent the United States Hockey League and the City of Dubuque in the third annual event. Our players, coaches, and staff are looking forward to the experience of a lifetime."
"In turn, we are excited to have the USHL, and USA Hockey's elite junior program, represented by our 2012-13 Clark Cup Champions," said USHL President and Commissioner Skip Prince. "Dubuque will bring to the tournament the level of intensity and commitment to hockey that is a hallmark of USHL play, and in the meantime enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience as participants in a professionally managed, well-attended tournament that the MHL and the Russian Ministry of Support have turned into a hallmark event."
Dubuque opens tournament play on Sunday, August 25th and will play all their games at the 10,000-seat Omsk Arena, home of the Omsk Hawks as well as the Avangard Omsk of the professional Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).
“I'm very pleased that the cooperation between the USHL and MHL has grown into productive partnership. This is the way the two strongest junior leagues from the two premier hockey nations should work together,” Dmitry Efimov, Managing Director of the MHL and lead organizer for the JCWC. “At the last year's World Cup, the Waterloo Black Hawks showed great skills and team spirit. I'm happy that the USHL decided to raise the bar even higher this year, and we will have an honor to host the League's champion – the Dubuque Fighting Saints. I guarantee that the JCWC will be even better and stronger this year, and we will do everything it takes to deliver a world class hockey competition as well as a cultural experience for our guests.”
A full schedule of events for the Dubuque Fighting Saints and their trip to Omsk, Russia will be released in the coming weeks.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 11th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2012-13. With 19 NHL Draft picks on team rosters and over 280 players already committed to NCAA Division I schools this season, the USHL has emerged as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League’s social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive). Fans can also watch USHL action all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com).
It’s not just hockey. It’s the USHL.