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#1 2016-10-06 08:18:41

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MALMO, Sweden - Ending a four-year run without a gold medal wont be ea

MALMO, Sweden - Ending a four-year run without a gold medal wont be easy for Canada at the world junior hockey championship. The quest begins with what is supposed to be an easy one, although Germany has traditionally been a stubborn opponent to Canadian teams at international tournaments. "Youve got to expect theyll be structured and hard working," coach Brent Sutter said Wednesday after a one-hour skate at the cosy Isstadion, where they face the Germans on Thursday. "Theyll be ready to play. "That game is the biggest game to date we have. It doesnt matter our opponent, its how we have to play. Lets make sure were responsible." You can watch all the action live on TSN beginning at 7am et/4am pt. Pre-tournament exhibition games against Finland, Sweden and Switzerland showed that while the Canadian squad — led by Halifax Mooseheads star Jonathan Drouin — will be among the better teams in the 10-team event, it doesnt have the speed and offensive flash of some of the 15 Canadian teams that won gold in the past. The host team Sweden, with at least 10 players returning from a squad that won silver last year in Ufa, Russia, looks like the team to beat, especially after the 3-0 beating they put on Canada in an exhibition game last week. The Swedes are in the opposite first-round group and will play at the newer, much larger Malmo Arena. Canada has only three players back from the 2013 tournament. They include Drouin, Jake Paterson (who didnt dress for any games in Ufa as the third goalie), and defenceman Griffin Reinhart, who is suspended for the first three games this year from a slashing incident in last years semifinals. The loss in Ufa ended Canadas 14-year run of top-three finishes at the tournament officially called the IIHF world under-20 championship. This years squad is younger than most, and should be a showcase for three players not even eligible to be drafted by the NHL yet. First among them is Connor McDavid, the dazzling 16-year-old playmaker and scoring star of the Erie Otters who will not be eligible for the draft until 2015. There is also forward Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice, the younger brother of Griffin Reinhart, along with big defenceman Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts. They may go one-two in the 2014 draft. Sutter has McDavid and Reinhart on the wings with centre Bo Horvat, an imposing Vancouver Canucks prospect from the London Knights. They were the only line to stay together through the teams three pre-tournament games. Reinhart turned 18 in November and is not a true "underage" junior, and Sutter uses him as he would a seasoned veteran. In exhibition play, he played the power play and on the penalty kill. In one instance when Canada was short-handed two men, he was the lone forward on the ice. "Hes an all-purpose player," said Sutter. "He just knows how to play the game. "Hes an intelligent player and his paying attention to details in all sorts of situations is very high. As a coach, youre very comfortable playing him in whatever situation that occurs." Reinhart is used to the ice time with Kootenay and was a captain on Canadian under-18 teams, so he likes the responsibility Sutter has given him. "It gives you confidence for opening night," he said. "We took some games to find our mentality and what well bring to the first one. "We feel confident in our game right now. The focus has turned onto the first game against Germany and were looking forward to it." The exhibition games were a test for Drouin, the third overall pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning last June. Sutter blasted him for a weak showing against Sweden, even though it was Drouins first game since suffering a concussion in a league game with Halifax on Dec. 8. He was moved from left wing to centre for the final exhibition against the Swiss and played better. "Brent said some stuff," said Drouin, who will likely centre big winger Anthony Mantha and the defensively solid Taylor Leier of the Portland Winterhawks. "I know I played bad and didnt help the team. "I had to step up my game against the Swiss and I think I did. I feel better. The first game was a little rough. Its been three weeks (since he played) and its different from major junior. Its way more fast, but I think the second game was better." Another question to be settled was in goal, and Sutter believes hes found his man in Paterson of the Saginaw Spirit, who will start against Germany. The Mooseheads Zach Fucale will start the tournament as the backup, but Sutter expects both will see action in the tournament. Other lines are likely to have Nic Petan of Portland between Curtis Lazar of the Edmonton Oil Kings and Kerby Rychel of the Gueph Storm; and captain Scott Laughton of the Oshawa Generals with Frederik Gauthier of the Rimouski Oceanic and Josh Anderson of the Knights. Charles Hudon of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens may slot in the Drouin line. The defence will likely be rearranged when Griffin Reinhart returns Dec. 31 against the Americans. Sutter has been trying various combinations for a group that includes Ekblad, Matt Dumba of the Minnesota Wild, Chris Bigras of the Owen Sound Attack, McDavids Erie teammate Adam Pelech, Josh Morrissey of the Prince Albert Raiders and Derrick Pouliot of Portland. Without a high-powered attack, there has been much talk of playing "Boston Bruins hockey," which despite popular perception does not mean hammering everyone who moves, but rather working the puck up the ice in tight, five-man units and playing a controlled two-way game. "It is the makeup of our team," said Sutter, who won gold with a similar group in 2006. "We have to support each other. "We cant be a spread-out team thats playing one zone and two zones ahead. We have to be coming out of zones together and using each other. When one guy has the puck, the other four have to be options and be available for plays. And we have to be smart when were hitting the red line. We cant have turnovers." The game against Germany is a chance to see flashy forward Leon Draisaitl, who is Morrisseys teammate in Prince Albert. Draisaitl is a projected top-10 pick in 2014. They played against one another at the under-18 championship, and Morrissey said they have been joking about meeting again at the world juniors. "Hes a really skilled player," the Calgary native said. "Weve become almost best friends on our team. "Hes got phenomenal vision. I think he plays like (Anze) Kopitar. He likes (Pavel) Datsyuk a lot. All I can say is hes an unreal player."   Swingman Tracy Mcgrady Jersey . Woodson said during a radio interview Thursday that the Knicks Carmelo Anthony doesnt get the same calls as other superstars. Swingman Vince Carter Jersey . Kuznetsov, who was selected by the Capitals in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, has been playing for his hometown team Chelyabinsk Traktor of the KHL. http://www.nbaraptorsonline.com/Authent … rs-Jersey/ . -- Edmontons Val Sweeting is two wins away from a trip to Winnipeg to play in Canadas Road of the Rings in December. DeMar DeRozan Jersey . But by the time the game started, the Toronto Raptors forward felt even worse. And, for three quarters, it showed as Gay shot a woeful three-for-13 from the field. Vince Carter Jersey . Denis Coderre, the former federal MP who was elected mayor on Nov. 3, has drawn the ire of some Montreal Canadiens. During last nights game he tweeted: "Hello? Can we get a one-way ticket to (minor-league) Hamilton for David Desharnais please.CALGARY - Flames goaltenders Reto Berra and Karri Ramo faced a daunting task at training camp last September. Miikka Kiprusoff had just announced his retirement after a decade-long run in Calgary and it would be up to Berra and Ramo to fill the void. It was a tall order and the Flames struggled at the start of the season. But there finally appear to be signs that the team may be ready to turn things around. Berra and Ramo have helped Calgary to a 5-4-2 record in its last 11 games, with three losses coming in close games against league heavyweights Pittsburgh and Boston. Berra entered the holiday break on a high after helping the Flames to a 4-3 shootout win Monday over the surging St. Louis Blues. He made 32 saves and stopped all three shots in the shootout to improve to 5-8-2 on the season. Berra is also a perfect 3-0 in shootouts, an area in which Kiprusoff historically struggled (23-37). "Overall Im happy with where I am," he said. "For my first year over here, Ive played solid, Ive played calm and Ive played my game. "I want to have more wins but sometimes you cant control that." Once described by former Flames general manager Jay Feaster as the “best goaltenders not playing in the NHL,” Berra and Ramo are still adjusting to the league since coming over from Europe. The ice surface is smaller and there is more traffic in front of the net. "One thing Ive been working on is trying to track the puck and follow it with my body," said Berra. "Also, guys here shoot perfect shots so you cant just go down and hope it hits you, you have to read the shot. Thats a big part of where Im way better than at the start of the season. "I can read the shots and where theyre coming." Ramo, who spent the last four seasons in the KHL, is more familiar with the North American game than his teammate. The 27-year-old native of Asikkala, Finland spent three seasons in the Tampa Bay organization after being selected by the Lightning in the sixth round of the 2004 entry draft. "Im trying to be quicker with my positioning so I can get set and see more pucks," said Ramo. "If you can play a little bit more outside the crease and still be quick, thats always better. Berra, a 26-year-old native of Bulach, Switzerland, said he has also noticed a big difference in the number of blocked shots. One of the trademarks of the Flames blue-collar style of play, Calgary has blocked 688 shots this season, second only to Montreal (725).dddddddddddd Individually, defencemen Kris Russell (105), Chris Butler (100) and Ladislav Smid (83) all rank in the top 10. "I think the guys would jump face first into shots, they have so much commitment to the Flames," Berra said with a laugh. "They play like a goalie. Sometimes if theres not many shots, its hard to get into the game and Ill be thinking, Hey, let it through, I want to save something too." Flames coach Bob Hartley has been pleased with how his two goaltenders have improved. "Very happy with their progression," Hartley said. "Theyre two great guys. They want to learn, they want to contribute to the team success. They get along great together. Were trying to give them streaks where if they play well, we ride them." Berra started 11 of 12 games in one stretch, starting with a spectacular 42-save win in his NHL debut in Chicago. Lately its been Ramos turn, as he has started eight of the last 12 and is playing his finest hockey of the year. Hes gone 4-2-2 in that span with a 2.06 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. On the season, Ramo is 6-6-3 with a 2.79 GAA and a .904 save percentage. He attended Finlands Olympic orientation in July, but thinks there is little chance hell be in Sochi this February given the countrys depth at the goaltending position. Its unclear if Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne will be ready for the Games as hes still recovering from a hip infection. However, Finland is still loaded with other options, including Bostons Tuukka Rask, San Joses Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen of Dallas. "With Finland and the goalies, pretty easy decisions for the people who are selecting," said Ramo. "Theyve been well known for so long in Finland and played in the NHL for so long and have been so good." Its a different scenario for Berra. After a strong showing last May at the world championships, he fully expects to be in the mix on the Swiss team. "For sure," Berra said. "Plus Ive made my next step personally by now playing in the NHL." The Flames, who sit 11 points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference, return to action Friday against the visiting Edmonton Oilers. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys China ' ' '

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2016-10-06 08:18:41

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