Cloverdale teen earns invite to Team Canada U-18 camp

Cloverdale teen earns invite to Team Canada U-18 camp

Cloverdale Minor Hockey product Parker Wotherspoon is among 22 players gathered at Toronto’s MasterCard Centre this week for Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team training camp.

The six-foot, 177-pound defenceman played with the Western Hockey’s League’s Tri-City Americans this year and is the youngest defenceman to earn an invite to the national team camp. The roster includes three goaltenders, six defencemen and 13 forwards.

The camp in Toronto will serve as part of Canada’s preparations for the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, which will be held April 17 to 27 in Lapeenranta and Imatra, Finland.

Canada is the defending champion at the world championship, having won its third gold medal last year in Sochi, Russia.

The camp roster includes eight players from the Western Hockey League, eight from the Ontario Hockey League and six from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

In total, 13 players competed at the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Quebec, and eight players competed at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Nova Scotia.

The roster also includes nine players who helped Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team win the gold medal at the 2013 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia last summer.

Canada will play two pre-tournament games before the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship, April 11 against Finland and April 14 against Denmark.

Canada opens the tournament April 17 against Sweden.