Photo credit: Xander Holcomb, Renegades Photography
Article & Graphic: Aidan Serra
The Blackfalds Bulldogs are proud to announce that forwards Layne Loomer and Alexander Dimitriadis have been selected to represent Canada West at the 2023 World Junior ‘A’ Challenge in Truro, Nova Scotia. The tournament will run between December 10 and December 17, with Canada West kicking their tournament off on the 10th against Sweden.
There are a total of 10 Preliminary round games between December 10th and 15th. The five teams will then be seeded from first place to fifth place, with the top four teams advancing to the semifinals, with the medal round taking place on December 16th and 17th. Loomer and Dimitriadis will be looking to improve on Canada West’s fourth-placed finish from last year.
Both players expressed their excitement at getting the nod to represent Canada.
“It’s a feeling I’ve never felt before. I’m proud of my accomplishments to this point, but this one feels a little different,” said Dimitriadis. “I get goosebumps just thinking of putting that jersey on with that logo. It’s a feeling I can’t describe.”
Dimitriadis and Loomer both said the prospect of each of them heading to Truro was on their minds, but it makes the selection all the more special.
“It’ll be a great experience and a huge opportunity for both of us,” said Loomer. “Just being able to do it with a current teammate just makes it that much more exciting.
Bulldogs Head Coach Doug Quinn says that Loomer’s focus and determination have led him to do all the right things to accomplish his goals and that Dimitriadis’ immediate impact has led to him being “very deserving to be chosen as one of the players for Team Canada West.”
Loomer has started this season with 11 goals and 33 points in 25 games, earning him an NCAA Division One commitment to Penn State University. Dimitriadis has appeared in all 29 games for the Bulldogs this season, scoring 14 goals and 27 points. In late October, Dimitriadis made his Division One commitment, signing on to play for Mercyhurst University.
Dimitriadis and Loomer will be joined on Canada West with 17 other AJHL players. Both said that the chance to play with those players, rather than against them, is an exciting concept, with Dimitriadis going on to express; “It’s a great opportunity to build relationships and memories with a whole new group of guys.”
Loomer and Dimitriadis become the second and third Bulldogs to be selected to play in the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge, with Tanner Willick having represented Canada West last season. As a member of the OJHL’s Wellington Dukes, Ethan Morrow competed for Canada East in 2022.
Bulldogs Director of Hockey Operations Al Parada also expressed his pride in both Loomer and Dimitriadis, saying that Dimitriadis’ commitment to improving his offensive game so far this season, and Loomer’s work ethic on and off the ice have presented them both with this opportunity.
Both players said that they are thrilled with their seasons so far, both having accomplished two significant goals.
“I could not have asked for a better start to the season,” said Dimitriadis. “I could not have done it without the help of my coaches and teammates here in Blackfalds as well as the support of my family back home.”
The entire Bulldogs organization would like to congratulate Layne and Alexander on their selections and wish them the best of luck in Truro!