From the rink comes word QB’s own Evan Tironese has just been named to the Canada West roster for the upcoming World Junior A Challenge.
Tironese was invited to the main camp, held at Calgary’s Olympic Park on Monday. Sixty skaters from the four Western provinces were invited to try out for the 25 spots available.
Tironese, or ‘Tiro’ to his teammates, came up through Oceanside Minor Hockey and is in his second season of Jr. A with the BCHL’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs.
Besides being the Bulldogs’ leading scorer with eight goals and 13 helpers for 21 points in 17 games played, Tironese is also an alternate captain. And while those that know the 5’9” 163 pound left shooting forward from Qualicum Beach may not be surprised he’s been selected to try out for the prestigious tourney, worth noting says Bulldogs’ head coach Kevin Willison, “is that he’s only 17.”
Tironese, played 60 games for Alberni in his rookie season last year and finished with 14 goals 28 assists for 42 points to go along with 59 penalty minutes to earn the BCHL’s Rookie of the Year honours, still has three years of Jr. Hockey eligibility remaining, but he’s committed to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) out of Troy, New York where he’ll be lacing up for the Engineers and playing NCAA hockey.
“He’s got the rest of this year and one more season with us,” Willison explained when The News caught up with him for some insight into his Oceansider. “Evan’s certainly a dedicated hockey player — his off ice conditioning during the summer is always what sets him apart,” said Willison, adding “Evan’s got great hockey sense. He can put the puck in the net, he’s got speed, he can shoot, and he’s tough. He doesn’t back down, and he’s also got great leadership qualities — he makes everyone around him better.”
Tiro was actually leading the BCHL in scoring up until last week. The Bulldogs are currently 7-8-3 in BCHL regular season action and sitting third in the five-team Island Division.
The Bulldogs will be without Tyro now him until Nov. 12th (four games), but their coach put it in perspective.
“We’re always happy for the kids — that’s why we’re here is to give them a chance to shine,” said Willison said earlier when asked about the prospect of being without his leading scorer, adding “he’s certainly going to be in tough playing against 18 and 19 year olds, but he has what it takes to play against those kids.”
The 2012 World Junior A Challenge is slated for Nov. 5-11 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and will feature two teams from Canada (East and West), and one each from the USA, Russia, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic.