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Ryan O'Reilly of the Erie Otters to captain Canada at U18 tournament @NHLdotcom

FARGO, N.D. - Ryan O'Reilly of the Erie Otters has been named captain of Canada's team at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship, which opens Thursday in Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minnesota.

The 18-year-old forward from Varna, Ont., will be joined by alternate captains Simon Despres of the Saint John Sea Dogs and forward Garrett Mitchell of the Regina Pats .

O'Reilly won gold with Canada's under-18 team at the 2008 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. He captained Ontario to a gold medal at the 2008 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in London, Ont.

Canada defeated Slovakia 5-2 on Tuesday night in Minneapolis. The defending champions open Thursday against Germany. The other teams in Pool A are Sweden, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

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