AMHERST - There are many fringe benefits to being a hockey pro and Amherst's Luke Warner will get the chance of a lifetime to experience those benefits up close and personal Wednesday when he plays hockey at the Halifax Metro Centre.
In the run up to the International Ice Hockey Federation's World Men's Championships, Warner was selected as one of 40 players from Nova Scotia's Under 16 hockey program to play a tune-up game in preparation for the tournament.
"It's kind of a dream that hasn't really sunk in yet," Warner said. "I'm pretty exited."
Warner, along with 91 other players, was in Halifax last weekend trying out for the Team Nova Scotia Under 16 squad when he put his name in for a draw and was selected to play in the game.
The game will provide the opportunity for the IIHF to fine tune, "everything from video and replay equipment, security staff, off-ice officials, and various other game operations."
Hockey Canada said, "This event will run as if Team Canada was playing Team U.S.A. Players will be treated as if they are members of Team Canada."
That means the cameras will be rolling, replays will be shown and the players will be treated like the hockey gods of the NHL.
Many players and officials from the participating countries are expected to be in attendance.
Warner, who played the last two seasons with the Cumberland?County Bantam AAA?Ramblers, is hoping he might get to meet some of those hockey players.
"Some of the international teams could be out there watching," Warner said. "So I might get to meet some of the players."
All 40 players participating in the game will receive a DVD of the game to keep as a souvenir.
This is the first time the IIHF world championships will be held in Canada. It also marks the 100th anniversary of the IIHF. Halifax is co-hosting the tournament with Quebec City.
The 16-team tournament begins Friday with Canada playing Slovakia at 4:30 p.m. at the Metro Centre. It wraps up Sunday,?May 18, with the gold medal game.