Wednesday, December 10, 2014

UNH Recruit Marcus Vela Makes Canada West Team

Langley's Marcus Vela Named to Canada West Team

Hockey Canada has announced the 22-player roster for Canada West and UNH Recruit Marcus Vela is on it. Vela, a 2015 or '16 UNH recruit, is one of 9 players selected from the British Columbia Hockey League. Canada West also includes players from the Junior A leagues from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Superior International. They will compete in the 2014 World Junior A Challenge on December 14-20 in Kindersley, Saskatchewan. Canada West will face teams from Canada East, the United States, Russia, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland.

From December 7-9, Vela (Langley Rivermen), and fellow UNH recruit Liam Blackburn (West Kelowna Warriors) competed with 60 players at the Canada West selection camp. 25 of the players represented BCHL teams while the other 35 players represented the Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Superior International Leagues.

17-year-old Marcus Vela, has scored 5 goals and 19 assists in 28 games. He is the 4th leading scorer on the Langley Rivermen squad. Liam Blackburn is currently the second leading scorer in the BCHL. So far this season, he has scored 13 goals and 33 assists in 29 games. His 33 assists are the most for any BCHL player. Like Vela, he is on target to enroll at UNH in either the Fall of 2015 or 2016.

Since the World Junior A Challenge was first played in 2006, 7 players, who would later play for UNH, have participated (see table below). The most recent was Shane Eiserman who scored 2 goals for the USA team that won the gold medal in 2013. Two UNH players have represented the BCHL on Canada West teams. Both Grayson Downing (2009, 2010) and Damon Kipp (2006, 2007) played in two World Junior A Challenges. The leading scorer among UNH players who have played in the Challenge was Blake Kessel who scored 2 goals and 5 assists in the 2007 Tournament.

UNH Player Year Team Medal GP Goals Asst Pts
Shane Eiserman 2013 USA Gold 4 2 0 2
Grayson Downing 2010 Canada West - 5 2 2 4
2009 Canada West Silver 5 0 0 0
Casey DeSmith 2010 USA Gold 2/3 1W 0L -
Nick Sorkin 2009 USA Gold 5 0 1 1
Greg Burke 2008 USA Gold 5 1 1 2
Blake Kessel 2007 USA Bronze 4 2 5 7
Damon Kipp 2007 Canada West Gold 5 0 2 2
2006 Canada West Gold 4 - - -


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