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Canada sets final 23-man roster for WJC

by Mike G. Morreale

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.

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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.

After being told he was cut and meeting the media, Sproul took to his Twitter account:

"Wow that is not easy," he wrote. "Had a great experience and wish the guys best of luck in Russia. Having no regrets …"

The 2013 WJC will be held Dec. 26 through Jan. 5. All countries are required to submit their WJC rosters to the International Ice Hockey Federation by Dec. 25.

There were nine players who did not dress for Thursday's exhibition match against the Canadian Interuniversity Sport team, comprised of players from the University of Calgary Dinos, Mount Royal Cougars and the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns. Those players were defensemen Dougie Hamilton (Boston Bruins), Scott Harrington (Pittsburgh Penguins), Xavier Ouellet (Detroit Red Wings) and Morgan Rielly (Toronto Maple Leafs); and forwards Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida Panthers), Boone Jenner (Columbus Blue Jackets), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton Oilers), Mark Scheifele (Winnipeg Jets) and Ryan Strome (New York Islanders).

The Canadian team will have six returnees from last year's bronze medal-winning club at the 2012 World Junior Championship: Hamilton, Harrington, Scheifele, Jenner, Huberdeau and Strome.

There will be three draft-eligible players on roster, which is a first for Canada. Linemates Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin of the Halifax Mooseheads, and J.C. Lipon of the Kamloops Blazers are eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft in Newark, N.J. Lipon, 19, was passed over in the previous two NHL drafts.

In the exhibition Thursday, Anthony Camara (Boston Bruins) and Ty Rattie (St. Louis Blues) each scored, and Drouin and Lipon notched assists as Canada earned a 2-0 victory. Laurent Broissoit (Calgary Flames) and Malcolm Subban (Boston Bruins) combined on the shutout for Canada with 13 and nine saves, respectively.

Jake Paterson (Detroit Red Wings) might have been the youngest of the four goalies at the three-day camp, but he stopped all 33 shots faced in regulation time. The only shot that beat Paterson was Huberdeau's marvelous shootout attempt at the conclusion of the first period of Tuesday's Red-White exhibition.

Binnington (St. Louis Blues) yielded three goals on 34 shots (.912) and Subban (Boston Bruins) halted 38 of 43 shots (.884). Brossoit sported a .960 save percentage with 48 saves on 50 shots.

Canada will compete in Group B at the 2013 WJC, along with Russia, the United States, Slovakia and Germany, with preliminary-round games played at the 7,950-seat Ufa Arena. Sweden, which scored a 1-0 overtime victory against Russia in last year's WJC gold-medal game to end 30 years of championship futility, heads Group A with Finland, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Latvia.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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