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Moose Jaw, Prairie Hockey Academy well represented in first step toward WHL Cup

Two players from Moose Jaw U15 AA Warriors joined by 12 PHA Cougars in reaching Sask First Top 160
Moose Jaw U15 AA Warriors captain Micah Coupland and assistant captain Rhyen Ubell have passed the first step on the way to suiting up for Saskatchewan at the 2024 WHL Cup.

If everything goes according to plan for a crew of players from the Moose Jaw U15 AA Warriors and Prairie Hockey Academy U15 Prep Cougars, there will be all sorts of local representation on Team Sask during the 2024 Western Hockey League Cup.

A pair of players from the Warriors and 12 from the Cougars emerged from the Sask First regional camp at the beginning of the month and will now see action in the Top 160 Tournament running Dec. 28-30 in Regina.

Hundreds of players from all over the province took the ice in Lumsden and Aberdeen during the Dec. 1 weekend for the first step of the Sask First program, which featured a series of skills sessions and exhibition games designed to whittle down the field to the top 80 players from the south and the north.

When all was said and done, Moose Jaw Warriors captain Micah Coupland and assistant captain Rhyen Ubell had made the cut, and were joined by a solid list of their PHA compatriots who hail from Canada’s Most Notorious City.

Ethan Grant, Max Craig, Nixon Friesen and Luke Pratte from the U15 Prep Cougars made the final cut for Team South. They’re joined by PHA teammates Soren Hayden from Caronport, Brady Vipond from Regina, Ramsey Thompson from Assiniboia and Zander Watson from Avonlea. 

Four Cougars also cracked the North roster, with Melfort’s Brady Robert, Saskatoon’s Ason Apesis, Outlook’s Noah Gibson and Hudson Bay’s Aaron Kowalyk making the cut.

The next step will see the 160 players broken into four teams from the North and four from the South for the tournament beginning Dec. 28.

Players will then be cut down for the Top 80 tournament Feb, 16-18 in Balgonie, after which the Top 32 will begin preparations in the fall of 2024 for the WHL Cup.

The lead-up there will include an orientation camp June 3 in Regina, followed by Summer camp July 29-30 in Regina and the final Fall selection camp at a time and place to be determined.

Saskatchewan is coming off a stellar showing at the 2023 WHL Cup this past October, where they defeated B.C. in the third-place game to claim bronze.

Be sure to keep an eye on for regular updates as the Sask First program progresses.

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