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2012 World Junior Championship

Open net at Canada's WJC camp

Monday, 11.28.2011 / 5:48 PM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent

Four goaltenders will vie for the right to be named Canada's starter at the 2012 World Junior Championship.

And leading up to Canada's National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp, there is no clear-cut favorite to tend the twine in Alberta starting Dec. 26.

Tyler Bunz of the Medicine Hat Tigers, Louis Domingue of the Quebec Remparts and Scott Wedgewood of the Plymouth Whalers will all battle returning goalie Mark Visentin for time in the crease when Canada opens its camp Dec. 10.

Goaltending might just serve as the most interesting position as Canada decides its roster for the tournament. With no one goaltender head and shoulders above the others, who will start between the pipes is cause to pause for Kevin Prendergast, Hockey Canada's head scout of the men's Program of Excellence. 

Defending WJC champ Russia lists preliminary roster

Monday, 11.28.2011 / 5:44 PM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

The Russian National Junior Team has visions of winning back-to-back gold medals at the World Junior Championship.

After stunning Team Canada in last year's championship game in Buffalo, N.Y., the Russians would no doubt enjoy celebrating another gold on Canadian soil this year. The 2012 World Junior Championship is slated for Dec. 26 through Jan. 5 in Edmonton and Calgary.

On Monday, the Russian Hockey Federation announced its preliminary 28-player international roster for this year's 2012 IIHF WJC. The camp opens in Novogorsk on Dec. 7 and will continue through Dec. 18, when the team travels to Canada. At that time, the club will be joined by players yet to be named from the Canadian Hockey League -- a list that could include forwards Nail Yakupov of the Sarnia Sting in the Ontario Hockey League and Mikhail Grigorenko of the Quebec Remparts in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Canada taking skilled approach at World Juniors

Monday, 11.28.2011 / 4:20 PM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent

CALGARY -- If Team Canada is going to earn its first gold medal at the World Junior Championship since 2009, it is skill that will give them the opportunity.

That's what Hockey Canada is expecting after announcing the 41 hopefuls who earned invitations to Canada's National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp in Calgary.  

The camp will be held Dec. 10-14, with the roster for the 2012 World Junior Championship team being named at the end.

Often taking a blue-collar approach in hopes of striking gold at the WJC, Kevin Prendergast, Hockey Canada's head scout, has added a little more finesse to this year's training camp.

Lucia leads U.S. past Canada West at World Junior A

Thursday, 11.10.2011 / 11:25 AM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Mario Lucia, the first high school player chosen at the 2011 NHL Draft, scored a pair of goals and goalie Ryan McKay made 29 saves as the U.S. scored a 6-1 victory against Canada West in the second game of the 2011 World Junior A Challenge on Wednesday in Langley, B.C.

Lucia, who currently is starring with the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League, was selected in the second round (No. 60) by the Minnesota Wild

Guelph's Walker added to Canada WJC staff

Monday, 10.10.2011 / 9:47 AM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Guelph Storm coach Scott Walker has been named an assistant coach for Canada's entry at the 2012 World Junior Championship.

Walker replaces Pascal Vincent, who resigned from the coaching staff to join the Winnipeg Jets coaching staff as an assistant under Claude Noel. Vincent also had been coach of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Don Hay of the Kamloops Blazers will coach Canada at the tournament, which runs Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2012, in Calgary and Edmonton. Walker will join Belleville Bulls coach George Burnett and Kelowna Rockets coach Ryan Huska on Hay's staff.

Undrafted Iles still optimistic about pro career

Sunday, 08.14.2011 / 10:42 AM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Based on his performances at the 2010 and 2011 World Junior Championships, it's no great surprise that Jack Campbell, barring injury, will go into the 2012 WJC as the No. 1 goalie for Team USA.

Campbell was in the net when the U.S. won the gold in 2010, and last year he backstopped the team to a bronze medal while taking home the tournament's best goaltender award.

While Campbell's talents on the ice are undeniable, Team USA goalie coach Joe Exter sees another reason why Campbell was able to raise his game to such high levels, especially last year in Buffalo.

"Jack Campbell had a great tournament last year and a big reason why he did was Andy Iles," Exter told "Andy Iles pushed Jack Campbell to bring his game to another level."

Zucker growing into leadership role with Team USA

Thursday, 08.11.2011 / 9:43 PM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The penalty wasn't good, but it was the response to it that helped Jason Zucker and the U.S. take a 4-1 win against Finland on Thursday here at the national junior evaluation camp.
With the U.S. already playing shorthanded, Zucker was sent off for high-sticking, giving Finland, already up 1-0, a two-man advantage for 1:29.

The U.S. killed the first penalty, and when Zucker's time in the box ended, he exploded out like a turbo-charged racecar.
Just 22 seconds after he stepped out of the box, his strong forechecking earned him a loose puck behind the Finland net. He found Nick Bjugstad open at the edge of the left circle, and Bjugstad scored to tie the game.
"For being a leader on this team it isn't a good penalty to take," Zucker told "I had to come out and show the guys that I'm here to be serious and I shouldn't have taken the penalty."

Goalie tandem provides solid options for Sweden

Wednesday, 08.10.2011 / 9:08 PM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- One of the biggest reasons Sweden has been so successful at the last few World Junior Championship tournaments has been the play of its goaltenders.

Jacob Markstrom helped win silver and bronze medals in 2009 and 2010, respectively, and Robin Lehner got them to the bronze-medal game in 2011.

Both of those players were high NHL draft picks, and were well-regarded before they took the ice for the WJC.

However, both those players have aged out of eligibility for the elite international under-20 hockey tournament, leaving Sweden's goaltending situation in a state of flux.

Campbell bringing stronger game into play

Wednesday, 08.10.2011 / 11:26 AM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- When you're Jack Campbell and you're so used to winning it seems like the only color you ever see is gold, failure in any form is an alien feeling.

So when Campbell, the goaltender taken by the Stars with the 11th pick of the 2010 Entry Draft, arrived in Dallas for training camp last September, he was focused on making the NHL as an 18-year-old.

And why wouldn't he make it? To that point, he had been successful at just about everything else he had tried.

In a span of 12 months, from April 2009 to April 2010, Campbell won gold medals for the U.S. at back-to-back World Under-18 Championships, with a thrilling golden victory at the 2010 World Junior Championship sandwiched between them.

Armia disappointed, but Sabres like what they see

Tuesday, 08.09.2011 / 8:04 PM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Joel Armia knew exactly who was in the audience at the USA Rink at the Olympic Center on Tuesday, and he was out to impress.
To say it didn't go his way would be an understatement.

"I think I played the worst game I've ever played," he bluntly told

Armia, taken by the Buffalo Sabres with the 16th pick of the 2011 Entry Draft, had an assist on Finland's lone goal, but was hoping for more with the caliber of audience watching.

Sabres owner Terry Pegula was standing on the glass for the entire game, flanked for most of that time by GM Darcy Regier and coach Lindy Ruff. In the stands was most of the Sabres' scouting staff, and Lake Placid is prime Sabres country.
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