Balzac player named to Team Pacific
All eyes will be on the World Junior Championship when they come to Alberta Dec. 26, but Balzac’s Torrin White will be representing Team Canada at a different international tournament over the holidays.
White has been named to Team Pacific and will play in the 2012 World U17 Hockey Challenge in Windsor, Ont., Dec. 28 to Jan. 4.
Canada will be fielding five teams: Pacific, Western, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic.
“I was pretty nervous,” said White. “I didn’t have my best camp in July, but a good start to the year helped.”
White, who’s in his first full season with the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors, has seven points in 28 games, as of Dec. 9.
He played three games last season and recorded a goal and an assist. The Warriors are currently in second place in the league’s Eastern Conference, only two points back of the Edmonton Oil Kings.
“I think it’s been a really good start this year,” he said. “When I came in for camp, I wanted to be a player that could make a difference and play in different situations. It takes a while to adjust and get a feel for the pace of the game, taking care of your body and getting used to the structure of the team.”
White isn’t alone in making the jump to major junior from Midget AAA. Last season, he played for the UFA Bisons AAA team, which has eight players playing in the WHL this season. Shayne Gwinner, who also played with the Bisons, is currently White’s teammate in Moose Jaw.
“I’ve played against a couple of the guys, and it’s been really fun,” said White.
White will be facing off against another Moose Jaw teammate during the World Challenge. Carter Hansen was named to Team Western. Team Pacific and Team Western play each other in their opening preliminary games, Dec. 29, but according to White the tournament hasn’t come up in conversation yet.
“We’re (concentrating) on the team right now, but once it gets a bit closer to Christmas, we’ll start talking about it,” he said.
“I think it’ll be really cool to get a little rivalry going there and to use it as motivation.”
Team Pacific alumni include Joe Sakic, Darcy Tucker, Jarome Iginla and Duncan Keith, but the team has never won gold in the tournament’s 25-year history.
It’s won silver five times since 2001 and won bronze in 1994, 2000 and 2011.
Team Pacific is one of two teams that have a roster made up of only CHL players, with the other one being Team Ontario.
White is hoping that the team’s experience will translate to a gold medal.
“I think we’re going to have a real strong team,” he said.
“It depends on how we come together as a team, but hopefully we build some chemistry and win the gold. It’ll be cool going out East and spending time with guys from around the league. Wearing the Team Canada jersey will be a real honour.
“I think the international experience will be a huge confidence booster for me. Hopefully, I come back and I can be more composed, play my game and not worry about the small things.”