Canadian forward Dylan Cozens chips a puck past Nick Malik in the Czech Republic net on Saturday in a Hlinka Gretzky Cup pre-tournament game. The Czech Republic managed to knock off Canada 4-3 in the exciting contest. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Canadian forward Dylan Cozens chips a puck past Nick Malik in the Czech Republic net on Saturday in a Hlinka Gretzky Cup pre-tournament game. The Czech Republic managed to knock off Canada 4-3 in the exciting contest. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Schedule announced for Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Red Deer

Canada to play Switzerland opening day

Hockey Canada has announced the schedule for the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Red Deer with Canada versus Switzerland as the opening day prime time game.

From July 31 to Aug. 6 Red Deer will host the tournament at the Peavey Mart Centrium for nearly a week of international hockey action.

“Red Deer is thrilled to host this year’s tournament and welcome the world back to our city,” said Red Deer Mayor Ken Johnston.

“We had the honour of co-hosting this tournament in 2018, and after a cancellation in 2020, we cannot wait to watch the world’s best under-18 hockey players in Red Deer once again.”

On July 31, the first day of the tournament, Czechia will play Finland at 11 a.m. followed by the United States against Germany at 3 p.m. Team Canada will hit the ice against Switzerland at 7 p.m.

The Canadians will finish out the preliminary round with matchups against Slovakia on Aug. 2 and Sweden on Aug. 3, both beginning at 7 p.m. Since the tournament began in 1991 Canada has won the gold medal 22 times.

Group A will have the host Canadians as well as Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland. Group B will include Czechia, Finland, Germany, and the United States.

The top two teams from both groups will move on to the semifinals on Aug. 5 and the bronze and gold medal games to happen Aug. 6 at 12 p.m. and 4 p.m.

“We are very excited to bring this event back to Canada, and in partnership with the City of Red Deer and the Red Deer Rebels, host an incredible week of hockey in the community this summer,” said Dean McIntosh, vice-president of events and properties with Hockey Canada in a media release.

“This tournament has seen some of the top under-18 players in the world compete against each other for the first time, and this summer will be a chance for fans in Alberta to see players that will suit up at future World Juniors.”

Ticket packages are now on sale starting at $269 for adults and $169 for kids. Information for those who are interested in volunteering will be announced later in June.

centralalbertaLocal SportsRedDeer