Bandits Bear, Makar to represent Canada West at World Junior A Challenge

BROOKS, AB (December 8, 2015) – Brooks Bandits defencemen Shane Bear (Calgary, AB) and Cale Makar (Calgary, AB) have been selected as two of 22 players to play for Team Canada West at the upcoming World Junior A Challenge tournament, Hockey Canada announced today.

Bear and Makar are the fourth and fifth Bandits to be selected to the annual event, joining Taylor Gal in 2007, and Maddison Smiley and Anthony Paskaruk in 2013.

The 2015 tournament pits two Canadian teams of Junior A players, West and East, against entries from the United States, Czech Republic, Russia, and Switzerland, with games being played in Cobourg and Whitby, Ontario, from Sunday, December 13th to Saturday, December 19th.

Bear, 18, is in his third full season with the Bandits, and has recorded 17 points (5 goals, 12 assists) in an injury-shortened 21 game season, while serving as an alternate captain. Last season, Bear was the highest-scoring defenceman in the AJHL, registering 43 points (8 goals, 35 assists) in 60 games. This was his second invite to the selection camp for the event.

Makar, 17, is in his first full season with the Bandits, and currently sits second among all AJHL defencemen in scoring, with 28 points (5 goals, 23 assists) on the season. He is tied for eighth among players at all positions for assists.

Last season, he led the Northwest Calgary Athletic Association (NWCAA) Midget AAA Flames in scoring with 23 points (7 goals, 16 assists) in 34 league games, being named the team’s Most Valuable Player as well as one of two First Team All-Star defencemen by the Alberta Midget Hockey League (AMHL). He also added 5 points in 3 regular season games as a Bandit affiliate, while dressing in all 20 playoff games, recording 7 points (1 goal, 6 assists).

Canada West will play in Group B at the tournament, with the United States and Czech Republic. The team’s pre-tournament schedule begins on Friday, when Canada West takes on Russia at 5:30 MT in Trenton, Ontario. The tournament begins for Canada West on Sunday when it faces the Czech Republic at 11 AM MT at the Cobourg Community Centre in Cobourg, Ontario.

Bear and Makar are also the second and third Bandits to suit up in Team Canada colours this season, after rookie defenceman Jarrod Gourley (Calgary, AB) won gold with Team Canada White at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge last month.

The Bandits organization would like to congratulate Shane and Cale on this latest accolade and wish them the best of luck capturing Canada West’s first gold medal since 2011.