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Posted On Saturday, 08.10.2013 / 8:32 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - World Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Sutter happy with changes for Canada

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Heading into this week, Canada coach Brent Sutter said he had a feeling the game Saturday against United States had a chance to be a rough one for his team.

"It's Day 5 or Day 6 of a training camp," Sutter said following his team's 5-1 loss. "These kids have two practices come in here and play three games in four days. I was worried about this game going into it with our mental and physical side of it. Usually that Day 5 or Day 6, a player kind of hits a wall a little bit and I thought we hit a wall today with it a little bit. Some players' play was not at the level you wish it would have been."

However, Sutter wasn't going to let one bad game ruin what he believed was a positive week as far as the early stages of evaluating the players that ultimately will make up the roster of the team that represents Canada in Malmo, Sweden at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

This week also marked a shift in philosophy for construction of the team, as Hockey Canada elected to move away from past practices of bringing in two teams' worth of players and having them play against each other in high-intensity intrasquad games. Instead, after two days of practicing in Brossard, Quebec, the team shifted here for games against the United States, Finland and Sweden.

"I think it's a great format for us," Sutter said. "I think the change was great. It's good to do what we did. You get a better read and better feel for guys. From my perspective, you're right with the group all the time, you're coaching the group. You get a better feel on the bench where guys are at and who might fit better with who. It's different when you go to a Red/White format; then your head coach isn't involved with coaching either team because you want to watch. When you're on the bench with the guys you get a better feel. The whole week has been great.

"[Saturday] you lose a hockey game, but at the same time you get to evaluate, too, and see the group do it together the whole week. There was a lot of positives coming out of this for the way it was set up and the format we did."

Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Saturday, 08.10.2013 / 8:23 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - World Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Sieloff a captain candidate for U.S.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The USA Hockey staff charged with picking the team that will go to Sweden for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship spent this week seeing which players fit into the best roles not only on the ice, but off it as well.

That includes early assessments of who could provide leadership, and among the early candidates for team captain is defenseman Patrick Sieloff.

Sieloff, one of three players from the 2013 WJC team that won the gold medal back for this year's camp (forward Riley Barber and goaltender Jon Gillies are the others), never made it onto the score sheet, but he was the team's most physical defenseman and one of the key parts of a penalty-killing unit that got better as the week went on, culminating in a perfect 9-for-9 performance in a 5-1 win against Canada on Saturday.

Sieloff, a 2012 second-round pick (No. 42) of the Calgary Flames, said he hasn't thought far enough ahead yet to consider himself captain of a team he still hasn't made yet.

"At the end of the day I'm here first to make the team and then just do whatever they ask me to do," Sieloff told NHL.com. "If it comes down to [being captain], than absolutely. I'm here to play my game and see how it plays out."

USA Hockey assistant executive director of hockey operations Jim Johansson, who will serve as general manager of the WJC team, said Sieloff filled a leadership role this week at the national junior evaluation camp.

"He has great leadership qualities," Johansson said. "He's a guy that you end up talking more and more to about getting messages through to his teammates. He does it on and off the ice. He's a guy that we will look for for leadership. … Sitting here today, he's a candidate to fill that role and be a guy that helps lead this team."

Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Saturday, 08.10.2013 / 8:22 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - World Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Finns celebrate win against rival Swedes

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The rivalry between Finland and Sweden is a deep and sometimes bitter one when it comes to hockey. That's why there was some extra yelling and cheering from Finland after their 3-2 shootout defeat of Sweden on Saturday.

For the group of 1994- and 1995-born Finnish players, it was the first time in five years of top-level international hockey, dating to under-16 tournaments, that they had beaten their counterparts of the same age from Sweden.

"It felt great," Juuso Ikonen, who scored the winner in the shootout, told NHL.com. "It was a good game for us. This wasn't a big tournament, but it still feels good."

Teuvo Teravainen, who scored a pair of goals, each of which tied the game, said the post-game celebration in the locker room was extra loud and long.

"It's always a big thing to beat Sweden," he told NHL.com. "They're tough battles every time. I think we haven't beaten Sweden so much. It was an awesome win."

Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Saturday, 08.10.2013 / 7:32 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - World Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Canada's Paterson focused on strong start to secure WJC spot

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- When Canada coach Brent Sutter assessed his three goaltenders here at the national junior evaluation camp, he said Eric Comrie, Zachary Fucale and Jake Paterson were starting on an even playing field.

However, Paterson does have one advantage on the competition -- he's the only one of the three to have played on a world junior championship team.

Paterson, a 2012 third-round (No. 80) pick of the Detroit Red Wings, was the third goaltender on Canada's WJC team that finished fourth at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. While he never dressed for a game, he said he did learn something from going through the process.

"It's how tough the tournament is to win," he said. "It's a one-game elimination. I learned last year you have to be at your best every single game."

He might not have been at his best Saturday, allowing five goals on 25 shots in a 5-1 loss to the United States, but Sutter said no result one way or the other in August was going to sway his decision on the final roster he'll lead at the 2014 WJC in Malmo, Sweden.

Paterson will return to his club team, the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League, knowing what's really important is how he starts the 2013-14 season.

"The biggest thing is trying to develop my game as much as I can and try have a good start to the season," he said. "It [WJC] is going to be in the back of anyone's head, that someone might be watching you. You're trying to make the team through the first four months of the season. I'm just looking forward to having a good start and everything will take of itself.

"Canada is filed with a bunch of good goaltenders so I know it'll be tough, but I'm looking forward to it."

Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Saturday, 08.10.2013 / 7:31 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - World Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Finland beats Sweden in long shootout

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Juuso Ikonen scored in the 10th round of a shootout as Finland ended with a 3-2 win against Sweden in the final game of the national junior evaluation camp this week.

Ikonen skated hard up the middle of the ice, deked and lifted the puck high under the crossbar, past goalie Oscar Dansk.

Finland had tied the game early in the third on Teuvo Teravainen's second goal of the game, but that's where the scoring stopped for a while.

A scoreless overtime saw Finland goalie Juuse Saros make four saves, while Dansk made three.

Back with more from both locker rooms.

Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Saturday, 08.10.2013 / 6:04 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - World Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Djoos goal gives Sweden 2-1 lead after two

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Christian Djoos' goal at 5:06 of the second is the difference after 40 minutes of hockey as Sweden leads Finland 2-1.

Teuvo Teravainen tied the game in the first minute of the second period. Jesper Pettersson was called for slashing Teravainen on a breakaway, and the Chicago Blackhawks prospect was awarded a penalty shot, easily beating Oscar Dansk 57 seconds into the period to tie the game.

After two periods, Sweden is outshooting Finland 21-17.

Back with more after the game.

Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Saturday, 08.10.2013 / 5:10 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - World Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Reinhart, McDavid happy with play at evaluation camp

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Sam Reinhart and Conner McDavid got their first taste of play at the international under-20 level, and while they may have been the two youngest players in camp this week for Canada, they never looked out of place in the first part of their quest to make Canada's team for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Reinhart scored Canada's lone goal in its 5-1 loss to the United States to close the camp Saturday, giving him a goal in both games he played.

"I'm very confident with how I played," Reinhart, the early leader to be the first pick of the 2014 NHL Draft, said. "I definitely gave myself some confidence going home now."

McDavid, bidding to become the sixth 16-year-old to play for Canada at the World Junior Championship, and first since Sidney Crosby in 2004, also looked impressive. He was held off the score sheet Saturday against the United States, but had a power-play goal Thursday against Sweden.

Like Reinhart, McDavid understands this junior evaluation camp was the first step to making the WJC team, and knows he needs a strong start with his club team, the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League, if he wants to be on the team that goes to Malmo, Sweden in December.

"I thought I played all right against Sweden," he said. "[Saturday] I think was obviously a step back toward making this team, but still a long way to. I think if I can have a good start to the year I'll be all right."

Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Saturday, 08.10.2013 / 5:07 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - World Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Sweden leads Finland after 20 minutes

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Sweden took a 1-0 lead against Finland after 20 minutes in the final game of the national junior evaluation camp this week.

With Finland's Aleksi Mustonen in the box for interference, Jacob de la Rose, a Montreal Canadiens prospect, scored off a pass from Filip Sandberg at 12:48 of the period.

Sweden sustained the lead despite having to kill off two penalties, including a slashing call on goalie Oscar Dansk.

Back with more after the second period.

Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Saturday, 08.10.2013 / 4:39 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - World Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Hockey Canada happy with stay in Lake Placid

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Despite a lackluster final showing, Hockey Canada executives were pleased with how things went during the portion of the national junior evaluation camp spent here.

"It's been great," Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada's senior director of hockey operations and national teams, told NHL.com. "Any time you can play meaningful games in August when you're trying to evaluate players and prepare your team, it's a great experience."


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Posted On Saturday, 08.10.2013 / 4:26 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - World Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Finland meets Sweden in Lake Placid finale

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The final game of this week's national junior evaluation camp features Finland and Sweden getting back injured players.

For Finland, top defenseman Olli Maatta returns to the lineup after missing most of the week with the flu. For Sweden, Oscar Dansk will be back in goal after missing a few days while recovering from taking a puck off his mask.

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I've never seen anything like that. The great thing is I don't know how many times guys bailed me out where they had to score to keep it alive and they did every time. It was amazing. It's not the way we draw it up, to go 20 rounds here, but obviously it's a big win.

— Florida goalie Roberto Luongo after the Panthers defeated the Capitals in the longest shootout in NHL history on Tuesday
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