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Fucale to start in goal for Canada in WJC semifinal

by Mike G. Morreale /

TORONTO -- Canada coach Benoit Groulx confirmed that goaltender Zachary Fucale will make his second straight start in goal when his team plays against Slovakia in the semifinal round of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship at Air Canada Centre on Sunday (8 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).

Fucale (Montreal Canadiens) earned his second shutout of the tournament on Friday when he made 14 saves in Canada's 8-0 victory against Denmark in the quarterfinal round. He has three wins, a 0.33 goals-against average and .981 save percentage for Canada and has allowed just one goal on 54 shots.

Fucale will be making consecutive starts for the first time in the tournament. He and Eric Comrie (Winnipeg Jets), who has two wins, a 1.50 GAA, and .933 save percentage, have rotated every other game until now.

"I don't see it as something totally different than any other game," Fucale said. "It's the semis and certainly an honor to have that opportunity and I'm really grateful for that. It's certainly been a great ride and I'm glad to have this opportunity to move forward in the tournament."

Groulx has been very satisfied with the play of both goalie.

"We like both of our goalies and think they have been very good," he said. "It was just a matter of picking one with experience and we feel comfortable Zach in there was the best choice. We feel both of them are ready but it'll be Zach [Sunday]."

Fucale was asked if it is exciting knowing that the team is just two wins shy of a gold medal.

"We know if we don't take care of this moment right now and don't take advantage of what we have in front of us, we won't have that chance [for a gold medal]," Fucale said. "So it's not hard to stay right here and take it one step at a time."

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