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Canadian junior team enjoying message board that shows supportive fan tweets @NHLdotcom

HELSINKI - All of Canada is right there in the players' lounge.

A large screen dominates the back wall of the players' lounge in Canada's locker-room in the Helsinki Ice Hall, home to Group A play for the preliminary round of the world junior hockey championship.

The screen was installed by Telus, one of Hockey Canada's sponsors, and shows all the tweets of support from fans that use the hashtag #allheartcanada. It serves as a window to Canada's fan base for the junior national team, which agreed to delete all social network apps from their phones to maintain focus for the duration of the international tournament.

Although Canada's players are too busy to stand and read all the messages, they've certainly taken notice.

"There's a lot of people rooting for us," said defenceman Brandon Hickey after team practice on Sunday. "It adds to our motivation for sure. Just shows that everyone back home's behind us, no matter how far away we are they're always going to be cheering for us."

Left-winger Brendan Perlini also appreciates all the kind words from fans across Canada.

"Just a lot of support from the fans back home and that's always good to see," said Perlini.

Centre Dylan Strome says he hasn't spent much time in the players' lounge, but has received support from across Canada in other ways.

"I got a number of texts yesterday after the game and everyone's supporting me," said Strome, referring to Canada's 4-2 loss to the United States on Saturday. "Some people I don't even know got my number somehow and are saying 'keep it up' and 'the whole country's behind you' so the support's out there.

"I don't think you have to read it on Twitter to feel the support and see the support."

Canada plays Denmark on Monday and faces Switzerland on Tuesday.


Follow @jchidleyhill on Twitter

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