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Dube soaking up WJC experience

Dillon Dube is thrilled to be a part of Team Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship

by Aaron Vickers @AAVickers /

Dillon Dube didn't get to do tear into any presents on Dec. 25. 

He would've been hard-pressed to stuff a tree into his Toronto hotel room, anyway.

And while parents Paris and Suzy didn't arrive in time to share in any holiday festivities regardless, the 18-year-old Dube wouldn't have it any other way. 

Not this year.

Not with the opportunity to represent Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship.

"Only a couple of parents were here on the 25th," Dube started. 

"It didn't really feel like Christmas for me. 

"But it didn't bother me too much.

"I'm definitely happy to skip a Christmas to be a part of this. I wasn't really thinking of the holiday."

Not surprisingly. 

Dube, one of five Calgary Flames prospects participating in the World Juniors, was more focused on wrapping a Team Canada jersey around himself than unwrapping gifts.

The real present, the Kelowna Rockets forward suggested, instead came Boxing Day 

"I think you always dress a little quicker just to throw the jersey on and sit there for a bit and take it all in," Dube said.

"You see the guys go silent and realizing what you're doing is a huge accomplishment and an honor to be a part of such a great team. Canada's a go-to team at the World Juniors and we want to represent the best way possible.

"To have the opportunity this Christmas and New Year is unbelievable."

So too has been Dube's experience.

"It's crazy," he said.

"I don't think I'll ever play in anything like this again. The fans here are incredible. Every single person is in a red jersey.

"All you hear is 'Canada' the whole game. It's definitely helping our whole team out.

"It was great to open up against Russia, too. The atmosphere is the best I've ever played in. Hopefully it matches here in Montreal, which I'm sure it will. We'd like to keep that going. It's a dream come true to do that. Every game is like that. 

"It's great to be a part of this team."

Dube has three assists and a plus-2 rating through the opening four games in helping Canada to three wins in the round robin.

Canada finished second behind the United States, and Flames prospects Adam Fox and Tyler Parsons, in Group B. The United States clinched first with a 3-1 victory over Canada on New Year's Eve. 

It will leave Canada with a quarterfinal matchup with the Czech Republic on Monday in Montreal. 

And another set of experiences for Dube.

"It's going to be great," he said. "We've gone through some adversity. It was good to pick it up there. We're going to definitely do very well for our team in the elimination round.

"We've got a team that wants to win and we've got a special group."

With, hopes Dube, a special result. 

One he can share with his family.

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