By Carter Brooks
Photo courtesy of the Portage Terriers
The 2018 World Junior A Challenge is set to begin from Bonnyville, AB. this Sunday, December 9th.
Although five Manitobans were invited out to the Canada West camp - amongst 39 others - for the December 3-5 tune up, only three players are sticking with the squad for the upcoming tournament. Highlighted on the roster of the Canada West squad for the week-long gathering are three players who currently find their home in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
Playing in Alberta next week will be Steinbach Pistons' goaltender Matthew Radomsky, Swan Valley Stampeders' forward Matt Osadick and Portage Terriers' Reilly Funk. Defenceman Owen Murray (Decker, Portage Terriers) and forward Kyle Bettens (Winnipeg, Steinbach Pistons) unfortunately did not crack the squad and will re-join their respective MJHL teams immediately.
Radomsky, 19, will split the netminding duties with Matt Davis for the upcoming World Junior A Challenge. The Steinbach backstop is currently 15-8-0 on the season with a 2.11 goals against average and a .924 save percentage through 23 games.
Osadick, 18, has 18 goals and 42 points in just 27 games for the for the Stampeders this season. The University of Maine commit has already topped his point total from 2017-18 in 27 fewer games.
Funk, 17, has put together a sensational start to his rookie season with the Terriers, collecting 13 goals and 33 points through 26 games. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound centreman is just one of 10 17-year-olds on the squad.
Players on Team Canada West have come from the five Junior A leagues in Canada's western region: the British Columbia Hockey League, the Alberta Junior Hockey League, the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, the Manitoba Junior Hockey League and the Superior International Junior Hockey League.
Team Canada West begins the week-long tournament in Bonnyville against the United States this Sunday, December 9th at 8:00 P.M. central, while Team Canada East kicks things off against Russia earlier in the day at 3:00 P.M.