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Canada goes for speed and size in naming roster for under-18 worlds

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The 22 players named Wednesday to Canada's team for the IIHF world under-18 hockey championship each has a clean slate with Pat Quinn.

The veteran head coach has no pre-determined plans of how to utilize his roster and intends to use the leadup to the April 13-23 tournament in Kazan, Russia to determine how his lines shake out.

"To ahead of time say you're the scorer, you're the checker, that sort of thing, I don't want to take that limiting approach with this group," Quinn said from Calgary. "I want them all to be challenged to be good all-around players and accept the responsibility of being a good two-way player because that's the type of team that wins.

"I'm going there for gold, not to watch one kid score a bunch of goals."

The roster includes nine players from the Ontario Hockey League, seven from the Western Hockey League and six players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Cody Hodgson (Brampton/OHL), Jordan Eberle (Regina/WHL), Maxime Sauve (Val-d'Or/QMJHL) and Greg Nemisz (Windsor/OHL) are among the players expected to carry the offensive load.

Chris Carrozzi (Mississauga/OHL) and Jake Allen (St. John's/QMJHL) will handle the duties in goal while defencemen Tyler Cuma (Ottawa/OHL) and Colten Teubert (Regina/WHL) are veterans of Canada's summer under-18 team at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament last summer.

A priority for Quinn will be to "get a feel for the kids and what their skill level is like so we as coaches can design a way for them to play, give them a system they can handle and give them way to bring a gold medal home."

The team will gather in Toronto on Sunday before departing for Minsk, Belarus for a pair of pre-tournament games against Belarus on April 10 and against Finland the next day.

That won't leave much time for the players to get acclimated with the style of game Quinn wants them to play.

"Right off the bat I want to be assertive and I want to be aggressive, both with and without the puck," he said. "When we get possession, I don't want to give it up easily, I'm not a dump it in style of guy, I know there are times when you do need to shoot it in, but I like a possession game and we're going to try and do that.

"Without the puck I expect a certain aggressiveness in pursuit, I want solid positioning and I want everybody accountable and responsible to one another."

Canada opens the tournament against Germany on April 13.

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