Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Assembling The Final 22

The drive for a sixth straight gold medal began in earnest on Wednesday as Hockey Canada announced the 22 players that will make up the national team for the 2010 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, which begins Dec. 26 in Regina and Saskatoon.

The team made its final roster cuts on early in the morning, releasing forwards Philippe Cornet, Cody Eakin, Scott Glennie and Louis Leblanc, defencemen Tyler Cuma, Shawn Lalonde and Dylan Olsen and goaltenders Matt Hackett and Olivier Roy.

Highlighting Canada's roster are six players who won gold at last year's championship in Ottawa; Patrice Cormier of the Rimouski Oceanic, Stefan Della Rovere of the Barrie Colts, Jordan Eberle of the Regina Pats, Ryan Ellis of the Windsor Spitfires, Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues, Colten Teubert of the Regina Pats.

In goal, there was a tight four-way battle and the team ended up keeping Jake Allen of the Montreal Juniors and Calgary Hitmen's Martin Jones.

Allen will likely be the starter in goal when Canada opens the tournament against Latvia. He earned an invitation to summer camp based on the strength of his performance at the recent Under-18 tournament. His efforts earned him the tournament MVP.

Canada's national junior team will spend the next few days practicing and doing team-building exercises. Their first pre-tournament game is Sunday against Sweden at the Brandt Centre starting at 7. The game will also be on TSN2

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