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Canada's junior team to play pre-tournament games in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer

NHL.com @NHL

CALGARY - Canada will play exhibition games in Calgary, Red Deer, Alta., and Edmonton prior to the 2012 world junior men's hockey championship.

Canada takes on Finland on Dec. 19 at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary before facing Switzerland in Red Deer on Dec. 22. The host team's final tune-up is Dec. 23 versus Sweden at Edmonton's Rexall Place.

The Alberta communities of Brooks, Camrose, Lethbridge, Okotoks, Olds and Three Hills will host pre-tournament games for other countries. Red Deer's Enmax Centrium will also host an exhibition game between the U.S. and Russia on Dec. 20.

Canada, a silver medallist two straight years, opens the world junior tournament Dec. 26 in Edmonton versus Finland. The Canadians play all their Pool B games in Edmonton.

Calgary is the site of all medal-round and Pool A games. The final is Jan. 5 in Calgary.

Tickets for Canada's exhibition games will be sold via Ticketmaster.ca. General sales start Nov. 5 for the Edmonton game, Nov. 9 for the Calgary game and Nov. 28 for Red Deer.

Tickets for the Edmonton pre-tournament game are listed between $30 and $45 plus fees.

If the sale of ticket packages for the actual tournament are any indication, demand will also be high for exhibition games.

Hockey Canada received 186,781 entries for a ticket lottery draw between Dec. 7, 2010, and Jan. 6, 2011.

Successful entrants were able to buy a maximum of six tickets each and they did so at a pace that astonished the organizing committee.

About 275,000 tickets were sold. There wasn't enough tickets for everyone who was chosen in the lottery and they cried foul.

On Dec. 20, Okotoks hosts the Czech Republic versus Latvia and Denmark faces Sweden in Olds.

On Dec. 21, Slovakia and Finland meet at Calgary's WinSport Ice Complex and the U.S. and Switzerland square off in Camrose.

Russia and the Czechs have a pre-tournament game in Lethbridge on Dec. 22, which is the same day Latvia and Denmark play each other in Brooks. The Americans will take on Latvia in Three Hills on Dec. 23.

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