COPENHAGEN - It may very well be the most important position on the ice, but it is the one position where there is no competition to make the Canadian world junior team. Art Harris Jersey . Only two goalies were invited to the countrys selection camp, meaning Saginaws Jake Paterson and Halifaxs Zach Fucale are guaranteed spots on the final 22-man roster. "In previous years they would be competing and right now wed have two other goalies and it would make their job a lot harder," explained Hockey Canadas goalie consultant Fred Brathwaite. "Now, theyre coming in here and were trying to make their game better day in, day out and get them ready for the tournament." The decision to take some of the pressure off of the netminders took Paterson by surprise. "I had no idea that it was just going to be the two goalies at camp," the Detroit Red Wings prospect admitted. "I thought it would be the usual four. Obviously, to get that news was a relief." Paterson took full advantage of the goalie competition at the 2012 selection camp. He entered the event as an under-dog to crack the roster, but stopped all 33 shots faced over three games to steal a job from Laurent Brossoit. Patersons edge in the competition to be starter this time around is his age and experience as Canadas third goalie at last years competition in Ufa, Russia, where Malcolm Subban started all but one game with Jordan Binnington getting the call for the bronze-medal game. The 19-year-old Paterson, a year older than Fucale, learned a lot despite not seeing a second of action. "Probably the biggest thing was how hard the tournament is to win with the one-game elimination in the medal round and, as well, how important it is to come together as a team. That stood out as well," he said. And while Hockey Canada has often times leaned toward older players when it comes to doling out responsibility at this event (Sutter, for example, went with two 19-year-olds in goal at the 2006 tournament cutting 18-year-old Carey Price at the selection camp), it is actually Fucale who owns the better big-game track record, including a gold medal at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and a Memorial Cup title last May. WATCH: Jamie McLennan breaks down Fucales game and explain why he should be Canadas starter "I think the Memorial Cup is very similar [to the world junior championship] with just five or six games so its very similar: you got to be at your best every night and theres no second chances, no turning back, you got to make sure youre well prepared and ready to play," said Fucale, who was the top goalie selected in Junes NHL draft getting scooped up by the Montreal Canadiens early in the second round. "You just want to be as prepared as you can come into the games. I think thats key. When theres a pressure situation, a lot at stake, you have to be well-prepared and whenever you are well-prepared you cant be scared of anything, because you did everything to be ready for that game." Fucale has an edge in the early-season numbers this season. Paterson has posted a 3.64 GAA and .900 save-percentage in 22 games in the OHL, while Fucale has a 2.51 GAA and .902 save-percentage in 28 games in the QMJHL. Paterson and Fucale are expected to split the starts in the first two pre-tournament games, on Friday against the Finns and Sunday against the Swedes. Who starts the final tune-up on Monday against the Swiss may provide a good indication of who will also get the honour of starting on Boxing Day when Canada opens the tournament against Germany. Sutter has made it clear he wants the battle to be the No. 1 goalie to wrap-up sooner rather than later. "I think you got to have somewhat of a clear mind about who your guy is going to be and start with it that way and if you have to change you can always change," said Sutter. "I dont think you can rotate in the tournament. I think you got to get someone really solid and hot going into it and thats our goal. But, at the same time, you got four round-robin games and the other guy has to play in at least one of them." Sutter leaned heavily on his starter in his two previous tenures behind Canadas world junior bench. In 2006, Justin Pogge started all six games en route to being named tournament MVP. Devan Dubnyk was the backup. In 2005, Jeff Glass got five starts, while Rejean Beauchemin got one. Sutter hinted that this time around the backup will probably get at least one game. Whoever plays will be facing sky-high pressure. When the world juniors are held overseas, Canada has never won gold without having the tournaments best goalie. Steve Mason was the last to do it backstopping Canada to gold in 2008 in the Czech Republic. Paterson and Fucale are well aware of all the hand-wringing about Canadas so-called crisis in the crease and have tuned it out. "Obviously, Ive heard a lot about that the last couple of years, but I think its out of our control," Paterson said. "Obviously, the results havent been there the last couple of years, but as far as me and Zachs concerned were just looking to have a good couple of practices here." "We heard a little bit of talk about it," said Fucale, "but, you know, the last four, five years, Im pretty sure theyve been doing their best to give the team a chance to win and all I want to do, me and Jake, we want to be prepared and coming into the first game want to be in top shape. "You got to make sure everyones ready to play. Me, the goalie, you have to make a difference. Im just looking forward to that first game." Al Wood Jersey . Ashton scored a hat trick -- giving him 13 goals in 16 AHL games this season -- to power the Toronto Marlies to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Lake Erie Monsters in AHL action on Sunday. Nick Collison Jersey And since they were arguably the greatest jerseys in 90s sportts, heres some throwback pictures. James Harden Jersey. ' ' '
Jan 3, 2020
the most important position on the i
the most important position on the i