Canadian Team Set for Action

By Brad Coccimiglio
After 4 days of practicing and scrimmaging the Canadian entry for the 2001 World Junior Hockey Championships is now set. On Monday morning the final cuts were made and the final roster was set.

In a surprise move the Canadian team management cut Kris Beech of the Calgary Hitmen and Pascal Leclaire of the Halifax Mooseheads on the final day. Also cut on Monday were Krys Kolanos and Luke Sellars. On Sunday, Rob Zepp, Garnet Exelby and Stephen Weiss were cut while Antoine Bergeron, Kurtis Foster, Jonathan Zion and Nathan Smith were cut on Saturday.

The goaltending on this team will be strong as Maxime Oullet and Alex Auld are going to backstop the Canadian team. From what’s been said by those who seen the camp, all four goaltenders (Oullet, Auld, Leclaire and Zepp) all played well.

The defensive corps on this team is somewhat young with just two 19-year-olds in Barret Jackman and Steve McCarthy. They should be solid nonetheless with three returnees in Jackman, McCarthy and Jay Bouwmeester. Four defensemen on this team are undrafted (Bouwmeester is draft eligible in 2002, while Dan Hamhuis, Jay Harrison and Mark Popovic are all eligible in 2001).

Offense should not be a problem for this team. Jamie Lundmark, Dany Heatley, Brandon Reid and Jason Spezza are all back from last year’s bronze-medal winning team. When you add Brad Boyes, Raffi Torres and Jason Jaspers to the mix you have an offence that should be capable of producing.

This year’s team seems to be more balanced than those of recent years where coaches tried to concentrate on one or two specific areas and hope that the others would just fall into place.

The Canadian entry for this years tournament should be able to contend for a medal. Here is a look at the final roster:

PlayerCHt.Wt.BirthdateHometown2000-2001 TeamDrafted
Alex AuldL 6'03.519801/07/81 Thunder Bay, OnNorth Bay (OHL)FLA 99
Maxime OuelletL 6'01.5 199 06/17/81 Beauport, Qc.Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)PHA 99

PlayerSHt.Wt.BirthdateHometown2000-2001 TeamDrafted
Jay BouwmeesterL 6'03.5 208 09/27/83 Edmonton, AbMedicine Hat (WHL)Eligible 02
Dan HamhuisL 6'00.5 193 12/13/82 Smithers, BCPrince George (WHL)Eligible 01
Jay HarrisonL 6'03 204 11/03/82 Whitby, OnBrampton (OHL)Eligible 01
Barret JackmanL 6'01 200 03/05/81 Kamloops, BCRegina (WHL)STL 99
Mark PopovicL 6'01.5 190 10/11/82 Stoney Creek, OnSt. Mike's (OHL)Eligible 01
Nick SchultzL 6'01 195 08/25/82 Strasbourg, SkPrince Albert (WHL)MIN 00
Steve McCarthyR6'0020502/03/21Trail, BCChicago (NHL)CHI 99

PlayerSHt.Wt.BirthdateHometown2000-2001 TeamDrafted
Brad BoyesR 6'00 180 04/17/82 Mississauga, OnErie (OHL)TOR 00
Mike CammalleriL 5'08.5 175 06/08/82 Toronto, OnMichigan (CCHA)Eligible 01
Dany HeatleyL 6'02.5 205 01/21/81 Calgary, AbWisconsin (WCHA)ATL 00
Jason JaspersL 5'11 183 04/08/81 Thunder Bay, OnSudbury (OHL)PHO 99
Jamie LundmarkR 6'00 185 01/16/81 Edmonton, AbSeattle (WHL)NYR 99
Derek MacKenzieL 5'10 178 06/11/81 Richmond Hill, OnSudbury (OHL)ATL 99
David MorissetR 6'01.5 203 04/06/81 Langley, BCSeattle (WHL)STL 00
Steve OttL 6'00 180 08/19/82 Stoney Point, OnWindsor (OHL)DAL 00
Brandon ReidR 5'09 170 03/09/81 Kirkland, QcVal D'Or (QMJHL)VAN 00
Jason SpezzaR 6'02 210 06/13/83 Brampton, OnWindsor (OHL)Eligible 01
Jarret StollR 6'01 198 06/24/82 Yorkton, SkKootenay (WHL)CAL 00
Raffi TorresL 5'11.5 210 10/08/81 Markham, OnBrampton (OHL)NYI 00
Mike ZigomanisR 6'01 193 01/17/81 Scarborough, OnKingston (OHL)BUF 99

The schedule for Team Canada is somewhat tough as they are scheduled to face Finland, Russia, the much improved team from Switzerland and Belarus. The Finns and Russians will be a true test and the Swiss definitely will not roll over and play dead for the Canadian team.
Before we look at the schedule, here is the division of teams for each pool:

Pool APool B

Czech RepublicFinland

Here is a look at the entire schedule:

Gm #PoolGameTime (EST)Rink
1AUSA vs Kaz7 a.m.CSKA
2BCan vs Blr7 a.m.LUZH
3ASwe vs Cze10:30 a.m.CSKA
4BSui vs Rus10:30 a.m.LUZH

5AKaz vs Cze7 a.m.CSKA
6BSui vs Fin7 a.m.LUZH
7ASwe vs Svk10:30 a.m.CSKA
8BBlr vs Rus10:30 a.m.POD

9ASvk vs USA10:30 a.m.CSKA
10BFin vs Can10:30 a.m.LUZH

11BBlr vs Sui7 a.m.LUZH
12AKaz vs Swe10:30 a.m.POD
13ACze vs USA10:30 a.m.CSKA
14BRus vs Can10:30 a.m.LUZH

15ASvk vs Kaz10:30 a.m.CSKA
16BFin vs Blr10:30 a.m.LUZK

17ACze vs Svk7 a.m.CSKA
18BCan vs Sui9 a.m.POD
19AUSA vs Swe10:30 a.m.CSKA
20BRus vs Fin10:30 a.m.LUZH

Day Off

21Q1A2 vs B37 a.m.CSKA
22Q2B2 vs A37 a.m.LUZH
23Q3A1 vs B410:30 a.m.CSKA
24Q4B1 vs A410:30 a.m.LUZH
25RelegationA5 vs B510:30 a.m.POD

26L21 vs L247 a.m.CSKA
27S1W22 vs W237 a.m.LUZH
28L22 vs L2310:30 a.m.CSKA
29S2W21 vs W2410:30 a.m.LUZH
30RelegationA5 vs B510:30 a.m.POD

Day Off

317thL26 vs L287 a.m.CSKA
32BronzeL27 vs L297 a.m.LUZH
335thW26 vs W2810:30 a.m.CSKA
34GoldW27 vs W2910:30 a.m.LUZH

Overall, judging by the talent that Team Canada has I would say that they have a good chance at winning a medal. Well, you don’t really win the silver, it’s more like losing the gold but we won’t get started on that. The Canadian team has the talent on paper to win gold, but remember the old saying: Championships are not won on paper.