Infobar:  Pilsen Challenge 2018: 9th - 11th February

West Coast Express U15 team from Canada ready for the 2017 U15 Pilsen Cup

The tournament Pilsen Cup is coming. HBC Plzen helds fourth tournament U15 cathegory. In Pilsen will start Canadian team West Coast Express too.

07.06.2017 | Redakce

As the Canadian Men´s and Women´s Teams take on the world in Pardubice this week, another group of Canadians are finishing off their pre-tournament preparations and getting ready to travel to the Czech Republic. The U15 West Coast Express (from BC) are off to Plzen, Czech Republic for the 2017 U15 Plzen Cup. The U15 Plzen Cup was organized in 2016 for youth teams from various countries to come and complete at a world level at a young age. "This is a great opportunity for players that are not at the Junior Team Canada age yet", said Express Coach Gary Slavin. "After attending the Men´s Plzen Cup in 2016, I talked with Josef Kadane of HBC Plzen about an international tournament for youths", added Slavin. We based it on the adults tourney where the team invites are "club based" teams that can attend as a non-official representative of their country.

Though these are ´club teams´, the West Coast Express team have players that have played at the CBHA Junior Nationals in Canada, while teams participating from Europe have players that have played in high level European matches. "The calibre of ball hockey play I compare to the Junior Worlds but just at a lower aged physical level", comments Slavin. The West Coast Express roster has big shoes to fill, as they are the defending champions from the 2016 Plzen Cup after beating the host team in the finals 3-1. The Express have seven players returning from the 2016 roster and all but two for the balance are 2002 born. The team has had some great exhibition games leading up to the trip against 17-19 year old tier 1 teams with some great outcomes. "We are very excited that Mr.Kadane and his organizers have arranged this tournament again in Plzen, I said to Mr.Kadane as long as you will host each year, we will continue to bring a team to compete at this level", mentioned Slavin.

As the trip is ball hockey focused in Plzen, the trip is also about sightseeing in Europe as well as educating the players of European culture and history. We have 6 days in Prague and Plzen prior to the tournament with 4 tours for the players and families to enjoy. It´s a great opportunity for these 15 year olds to experience this culture as it could be the only time they get the chance to visit the Czech Republic.

"One big bonus this year is that we are leaving a day earlier than last year to travel to Pardubice on the Championship Saturday so we can watch the Bronze and Gold men´s finals", said Slavin. "This will be an amazing experience for these young ball hockey players to see the world level, and the bonus hoping to see Canada Men´s in the championship game," added Slavin.

For those who would like to follow the Express at the tournament, go to and click on the english link or Facebook the team at WCExpress U15 (Plzen Cup).

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Pilsen Cup 2018 – Final Day Summary

This year´s Pilsen Cup is over! It saw West Coast Express´ triumph in under-17s while Spišská Belá took gold among under-15s with a win over hosts HBC Plzeň. Their older clubmates finished 3rd after Sunday playoffs.

Team GP S P
1. Plzeň 22 79:34 54
2. Pardubice 22 78:43 52
3. Kladno 22 69:45 44
4. Most 22 65:48 44
5. Kert Park Praha 22 83:57 42
6. Sudoměřice 22 48:62 27
7. Ústí n/L 22 53:70 27
8. Třinec 22 60:69 26
9. Letohrad 22 49:59 25
10. Kovo Praha 22 53:65 21
11. 22 38:77 20
12. Hradec Králové 22 45:91 14
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