OTTAWA (CIS) – Chris Culligan, a forward from the reigning CIS champion University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds, has been named captain of the Canadian men's hockey team for the 26th Winter Universiade, a few hours before the start of the biennial tournament in Trentino, Italy.
An all-star team comprised entirely of players from the Atlantic University Sport conference will wear the maple leaf jersey on their chests in Trentino. Since 1997, Canada has been represented at the Games in men's hockey by each of the three CIS leagues on a rotating basis and AUS standouts have been successful in each of their two previous trips to the event, returning home with silver in 2001 (Zakopane, Poland) and gold in 2007 (Turin, Italy).
Canada opens the Universiade tournament against Japan Tuesday at 8 p.m. local time (2 p.m. EST).
Culligan, who hails from Howie Centre, N.S., is the current captain of the Varsity Reds and also wore the C in his final season with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, with whom he spent his entire five-year QMJHL career. In his fifth and final university campaign, the 6-foot, 195-pound senior leads the reigning national champs in goals (10) and points (16) at the halfway mark of the 28-game schedule. He helped UNB claim the University Cup in 2011 and 2013 and is the all-time scoring leader among active AUS players with 147 points (47-100-147) in 105 conference matches.
Heelis leads the AUS in scoring at the December break with a 13-9-22 mark in 14 games. The third-year forward from Georgetown, Ont., is also a veteran of the OHL, with Peterborough and Owen Sound.
Tanaka led Saint Mary's to the first University Cup title in program history in his rookie campaign in 2009-10 and currently has 11 points in 14 contests in his fifth and final season with the team. The product of Stouffville, Ont., played five years in the OHL with Plymouth and Belleville.
Twelve teams will compete for FISU gold in Trentino, including Canada, Japan Ukraine and Kazakhstan in Pool A, Russia, Great Britain, the Czech Republic and Slovakia in Pool B, as well as Italy, Latvia, Sweden and the United States in Pool C. The top two squads from each group and the top two third-place finishers advance to the quarter-finals.
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/winter/2013/index
Trentino 2013 website: http://www.universiadetrentino.org/
TEAM CANADA ROSTER
Name University Elig. Hometown Academic
Jonathan Groenheyde St. Thomas 2 Surrey, B.C. Arts
Anthony Peters Saint Mary's 3 Blyth, Ont. Commerce
Wayne Savage UPEI 4 St. Thomas, Ont. Arts
Josh Day StFX 5 St. John's, Nfld. Arts
Marc-Antoine Desnoyers UNB 4 Saint-Hippolyte, Que. Business Administration
Michael D'Orazio Saint Mary's 3 Richmond Hill, Ont. Commerce
Simon Lacroix Moncton 4 Orleans, Ont. Accounting
Matthew Maione UPEI 4 Unionville, Ont. Arts
Christopher Owens Acadia 4 St. John's, Nfld. Business Administration
Alex Wall UPEI 3 Mount Pearl, Nfld. Science
Lucas Bloodoff Saint Mary's 4 Castlegar, B.C. Commerce
Tyler Carroll UNB 3 Strathroy, Ont. Rec. & Sports Studies
Mike Cazzola Acadia 2 Guelph, Ont. Kinesiology
Chris Culligan UNB 5 Howie Center, N.S. Rec. & Sports Studies
Chris Desousa UPEI 3 Mississauga, Ont. Arts
Eric Faille Moncton 4 Lachine, Que. Accounting
Liam Heelis Acadia 3 Georgetown, Ont. Science
Michael Kirkpatrick StFX 3 North Sydney, N.S. Business Administration
Nick MacNeil UNB 4 Creignish, N.S. Business Administration
Rob Slaney StFX 4 Portugal Cove, Nfld. Human Kinetics
Cory Tanaka Saint Mary's 5 Stouffville, Ont. MBA
Pierre Vandall Dalhousie 4 St-Louis-de-France, Que. Engineering
General Manager: Danny Lynch (UNB)
Head Coach: Gardiner MacDougall (UNB)
Assistant Coach: Brad Peddle (StFX)
Assistant Coach: Forbes MacPherson (UPEI)
Video Coach: Todd Sparks (UNB)
Equipment Manager: Serge LeBlanc (Moncton)
Therapist: Joe Glenn (UNB)
TEAM CANADA TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE (all times local / 6 hours ahead of EST)
Dec. 10 (20:00): Canada vs. Japan
Dec. 13 (20:00): Canada vs. Ukraine
Dec. 15 (20:00): Canada vs. Kazakhstan
Dec. 18 (TBD): Quarter-finals
Dec. 20 (TBD): Semifinals
Dec. 21 (10:30): Bronze
Dec. 21 (14:30): Final