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Petti and De Sousa Named to Ontario Under 17 Hockey Team

November 15, 2012 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) - Belleville Bulls News Release

TORONTO, ON - Team Ontario Director of Operations and Bulls Assistant General Manager Barclay Branch announced Thursday that Belleville rookies Niki Petti and Daniel De Sousa will be included in the 22-man roster that will represent Ontario this holiday season at the World Under 17 Hockey Challenge.

Petti and De Sousa will compete in Victoriaville and Drummondville, Quebec from December 29th through January 4th under the coaching of Kitchener Rangers Assistant Coach Troy Smith joined by Assistants Roger Hunt (Oshawa) and Wayne Clark (Peterborough).

"I am pleased with the players we have selected to represent Ontario at this year's World Hockey Challenge. Every player going through the Under-17 evaluation process is committed to excellence, which makes it challenging when making decisions on who will ultimately make the team," said Branch. "There is always disappointment for those players who are not selected, however, we as a staff believe that we have put together a group of athletes who will represent Ontario with pride and class both on and off the ice and are capable of winning the Gold medal."

The team departs for Quebec on December 27th to compete in a tournament that features ten teams, five of which are regional and the other five International.

Petti, the Bulls' first round pick in this past spring's OHL Priority Selection, is off to a running start with the Bulls this season. In 18 games he has 4 goals and 2 assists with a pair of multi-point outings. He's seen considerable ice time at centre and brings a solid mix of speed and tenacity to the Yardmen's big ice every night.

De Sousa was Belleville's second round selection this season and has played in nine games thus far. His strong stride and willingness to compete for pucks has been a drawing point for Bulls fans and Ontario brass alike throughout this season.

Team Ontario aims to return to the golden glory it achieved back in 2011 in Winnipeg under Head Coach Jake Grimes. Last December, Ontario brought home bronze from Windsor as Team Russia was crowned the victors over Team USA in the gold medal game. Team Ontario has an all-time total of 13 medals in the tournament, leading the pack with a total of 8 golds.

Petti and De Sousa suit up this weekend when the Bulls visit the Oshawa Generals on Friday night before returning home to host the Plymouth Whalers at the Yardmen on Saturday. For tickets, contact the Bulls Box Office at 613-966-8338.

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