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Posted On Thursday, 12.13.2012 / 7:20 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Struggling Subban rebounds, named to WJC team

Entering this week's selection camp at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, there were several players considered to be virtual locks as starters for the Canadian National Junior Team at the 2013 World Junior Championship later this month.

Malcolm Subban of the Belleville Bulls in the Ontario Hockey League -- one of four goalies invited to the camp -- was among the "locks." Fact is, however, Subban's lackluster performance through the first two exhibition games was rather un-Subban-like.

During the four-game series in the Canada-Russia Challenge in August, Subban was superb, allowing four goals for a 1.97 goals-against average in two victories. In five appearances for Canada's Under-18 National Team, the 6-foot-1, 187-pound goalie sported an impressive 2.98 GAA and .913 save percentage.

Perhaps that's why coaches and fans were willing to give Subban the benefit of a doubt through the first two days of selection camp. But there's no question Subban realizes he must play better. After all, the 2013 WJC will be the biggest event of his hockey career.

Posted On Thursday, 12.13.2012 / 7:16 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Canada sets final 23-man roster for WJC

The last day of Canada's National Junior Team selection camp at Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary also provided the final round of cuts as coach Steve Spott trimmed his roster in preparation for the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia, later this month.

The eight players released Thursday were forwards Mark McNeill (Chicago Blackhawks) of the Prince Albert Raiders, Daniel Catenacci (Buffalo Sabres) of the Owen Sound Attack, Tom Wilson (Washington Capitals) of the Plymouth Whalers and Hunter Shinkaruk (2013 draft eligible) of Medicine Hat Tigers; defensemen Mathew Dumba (Minnesota Wild) of the Red Deer Rebels, Frank Corrado (Vancouver Canucks) of the Sudbury Wolves, Ryan Sproul (Detroit Red Wings) of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds; and goalie Laurent Brossoit (Calgary Flames) of the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Spott's 23-man roster consists of 13 forwards, seven defenseman, two goalies and one emergency goalie in case of injury. The club will depart for pre-competition camp in Finland on Saturday.

Posted On Wednesday, 12.12.2012 / 2:48 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Canada sets camp lineup against University of Alberta

Hockey Canada released the names of a dozen players not participating in Wednesday's game against the University of Alberta on Day 2 of World Junior selection camp at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.

Forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Mark Scheifele, Phillip Danault, Brett Ritchie, Charles Hudon, Boone Jenner, Jonathan Huberdeau and Ryan Strome are healthy scratches, along with defensemen Dougie Hamilton, Scott Harrington, Morgan Rielly, and Xavier Ouellet (ankle sprain).

It's interesting to note that six of the players are returnees from last year's bronze medal-winning club at the 2012 World Junior Championship, including Hamilton, Harrington, Scheifele, Jenner, Huberdeau and Strome.

Goalies Laurent Brossoit, Jordan Binnington, Jake Paterson and Malcolm Subban will be playing. Binnington and Subban will split duty for Canada and Paterson and Brossoit share the cage for Alberta.

Posted On Wednesday, 12.12.2012 / 10:18 AM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

MacKinnon and Drouin impress at Canada camp

Even when they're not performing their magic together for the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, linemates Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin are inseparable.

The dynamic duo, who have combined for 41 goals and 100 points with the Mooseheads this season, were again in the spotlight on Tuesday during Hockey Canada's selection camp intrasquad game for Team Red against White.

"I think they were both nervous early," Canada head coach Steve Spott said after Red's 3-1 win. "Both kids made plays with the puck that they didn't look like [17-year-old] kids to me. They looked like 19 or 20 year olds out there, so I thought both kids played real well."

Posted On Friday, 12.07.2012 / 6:53 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Sissons to miss Canada WJC camp with injury

Hockey Canada announced Friday that forward Colton Sissons of the Kelowna Rockets in the Western Hockey League will be unable to attend Canada's selection camp next week for the World Junior Championship due to an upper-body injury.

Sissons will not be replaced on the roster, which now has a total of 36 invitees, including four goaltenders, 12 defensemen and 20 forwards. The 19-year-old Sissons was drafted by the Nashville Predators in the second round (No. 50 overall) of the NHL Draft last June. He had 10 goals and 27 points in 27 games for Kelowna in 2012-13.

Posted On Thursday, 12.06.2012 / 9:06 AM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Edina's Hurley commits to Notre Dame

Junior forward Connor Hurley of Edina High School in Minnesota on Wednesday announced that he would be continuing his career at the University of Notre Dame.

The 6-foot-1.25, 172-pound center, who was being courted by Minnesota, Wisconsin, Minnesota-Duluth and Michigan State, is considered one of the top draft-eligible scholastic skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft. Hurley earned a B rating on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings for players participating in scholastic high school hockey in Minnesota.

"The academics [at Notre Dame] obviously was a big thing that matters in my family," Hurley told the Minnesota Hockey Hub website. "They've got a great team now and they are getting a lot of good recruits in for the years to come."

Hurley has struck for eight goals, including three game-winners, and 15 points in six games with Edina (6-0-0) this season. He also played two games for the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the United States Hockey League this season, producing three assists and a plus-1 rating.

Posted On Wednesday, 12.05.2012 / 2:51 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Pulock cleared to return to Brandon lineup on Friday

Defenseman Ryan Pulock of the Western Hockey League's Brandon Wheat Kings has been cleared to return to the lineup following a six-game absence due to a facial injury.

According to Brandon general manager Kelly McCrimmon, Pulock, No. 3 on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary rankings for players in the WHL, will join his teammates for Friday's home game against the Spokane Chiefs. Pulock was injured after taking a puck to the face in a Nov. 16 game against the Kootenay Ice and has been wearing a full face shield in practice.

Despite missing some time, the 6-foot-0.5, 211-pound blueliner is fourth in scoring among WHL defensemen with 25 points, including nine goals, in 24 games. He also has a team-leading plus-14 rating.

Posted On Wednesday, 12.05.2012 / 1:22 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Is third time the charm for Kitchener's Ryan Murphy?

Expect Canadian National Junior Team head coach Steve Spott to undergo his share of sleepless nights when he begins his evaluation of players at Hockey Canada's selection camp in Calgary next week.

Defenseman Ryan Murphy is one player who won't require much evaluation, however.

Murphy, chosen No. 12 by the Carolina Hurricanes at the 2011 NHL Draft, was one of 37 players (12 defensemen) invited to Hockey Canada's selection camp at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, Dec. 11-13.

Spott has coached Murphy the past four seasons with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. This year marks the third time Murphy finds himself in a position to represent his country at the World Junior Championship -- he was released prior to the final roster selection the previous two years.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.04.2012 / 1:57 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Hartman looks to impress USA Hockey brass

In addition to top draft-eligible defenseman Seth Jones, one other standout prospect was invited to the U.S. National Junior Team selection camp at the New York Rangers' training facility in Greenburgh, N.Y., from Dec. 16-18.

Ryan Hartman, a 5-foot-11, 187-pound forward from West Dundee, Ill., is also on the radar of USA Hockey's coaching and managerial team -- and for good reason.

"I really liked his camp in Lake Placid [in August]," U.S. National Team coach Phil Housley said. "He's the kind of guy who plays at both ends of the rink, can skate, and can change the momentum of a game with a big hit."

Posted On Saturday, 12.01.2012 / 12:13 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Shinkaruk returns to Medicine Hat lineup

Medicine Hat Tigers prospect Hunter Shinkaruk, who will serve as an alternate captain for Team Orr in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in January, had a successful return to the lineup Friday following a four-game absence with a lower-body injury.

Shinkaruk produced three assists in a 6-5 road loss to the Red Deer Rebels. The Tigers are home to the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Saturday and play host to the Brandon Wheat Kings on Sunday.

Shinkaruk, who suffered a skate cut that required 14 stitches in the first period of a loss to the Portland Winterhawks on Nov. 17, resumed workouts Monday.

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