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After skating up, Zack Ostapchuk strikes up the Canadian line

TSN SportsCentre Reporter Mark Masters studies on the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship. Staff Canada practiced on the Downtown Neighborhood Area in Edmonton on Tuesday earlier than opening in opposition to Latvia on Wednesday.


Zack Ostapchuk began Monday’s pre-tournament play as Staff Canada’s thirteenth ahead. The efficiency in opposition to Staff Sweden represented a terrific alternative to earn a much bigger place on the World Juniors. It did not begin nicely.

“My skate blew up earlier than the sport so I wasn’t utilizing my very own skates,” the Vancouver Giants participant mentioned. “I used to be tying them up and the eyes on one facet have been simply torn. It was an emergency 5 minutes earlier than we acquired on the market.”

Ostapchuk did not have a second pair so he ended up utilizing the backup pair belonging to teammate William Dufour.

“They’re responding nicely, in fact,” Ostapchuk mentioned. “They have been similar to mine. We’re the precise measurement so it was good.”

That is the primary time Ostapchuk has ever handled an absence of skating like this.

“It was a really loopy expertise,” he mentioned. “I needed to refocus. It was type of humorous. I had a very good snigger about it. It is a good story.”

Even higher contemplating what occurred subsequent. The imaginative and prescient helped the Ottawa Senators arrange the opening aim of the sport due to a very good test.

“I acquired round my test and noticed that the D-man wasn’t going to get the puck,” Ostapchuk recalled. “I attempted to get a stick at it and I used to be fortunate sufficient to kiss it free. I used to be capable of drive the online​​​​​​ and go 5 holes, but it surely was [goalie Calle Clang] did the cease. [Nathan] Gaucher got here in and launched him. It was good to get on the board like that.”

Ostapchuk solely performed seven minutes and 15 seconds, the bottom whole on the workforce, however he made an impression. At follow on Tuesday, the 19-year-old from St. Albert, Alta., skates on the third line with Ridly Greig and Dufour.

“Zack is an enormous physique [6-foot-3, 198 pounds],” head coach Dave Cameron mentioned. “He is good. He sees the sport nicely. He mixed that in his sport. There was some physicality there.”

Ostapchuk may have a brand new pair of skates of his personal for Canada’s event opener on Wednesday in opposition to Latvia.

“I reside in St. Albert, which is not too far down the street so I am going to have quite a lot of family and friends right here,” he mentioned. “It is going to be good to have some assist from the gang. That is the primary time I shall be sporting the Canadian jersey so will probably be a particular second for me.”

Flint’s Brennan Othmann, who dedicated two penalties Monday, was knocked off the third line and skated as an additional ahead throughout Tuesday’s follow.

It was an exhibition sport in a largely empty constructing, however Greig did his half to inject some emotion into Monday’s proceedings. He stretched the defender Anton Olsson with a heavy blow. The accident compelled the Swedish defender to depart the sport.

“I caught him along with his head down,” Wheat Kings middle Brandon mentioned. “It was fairly clear. I all the time wish to put the physique round a little bit. It is a huge a part of the sport and for my sport.”

The blow despatched a leap via the Canadian bench.

“He undoubtedly will get the vitality going,” captain Mason McTavish mentioned. “I really like how laborious he performs. He is a beast on the market.”

Greig accomplished 92 penalty minutes in 39 video games within the Western Hockey League final season. That is greater than another participant on Staff Canada.

“I performed it most likely six instances this yr and it all the time went with quite a lot of our guys,” Regina Pats middle Connor Bedard mentioned with amusing. “It is fairly humorous, but it surely’s quite a lot of you prefer it extra when he is in your workforce. He’s such an entire participant and very tough to play in opposition to.”

What does Cameron worth Greig’s sport?

“Every little thing,” mentioned the coach. “He is a little bit little bit of a comebacker. He is bodily. He is good. He is aggressive.”

Ostapchuk additionally skated with Greig, a fellow senator prospect, within the first few practices at Canada’s coaching camp final week.

“I like how he does all of it,” Ostapchuk mentioned. “He has quite a lot of grit. He hits on boys. He’s laborious on pucks. He’s good within the D-zone. He wins faceoffs and has the talent to again it up. He is a man you do not need to play.”

Edmonton Oil Kings goalie Sebastian Cossa will begin for Staff Canada in opposition to Latvia on Wednesday.

“He backed the Edmonton workforce to a [WHL] and he went to the Memorial Cup and performed rather well,” mentioned Cameron. “The most effective time you play on the perfect degree offers you the perfect probability to enhance. That is what the Memorial Cup is about and that is what this event is about. Any time these younger folks can draw on data it will make them higher.”

Cossa was a very good scorer within the two championship video games in December. He allowed three targets in 12 pictures Monday after coming into the sport halfway via the second interval.

“He performed nicely sufficient throughout his profession that Detroit gave him a first-round choose [15th overall in 2021] so he has rather a lot going for him,” Cameron mentioned.

Staff Canada can even play on Thursday in opposition to Slovakia. Cameron says the workforce will “most likely” break up the primary two begins.

Kamloops’ Dylan Garand, the Canadian Hockey League’s high goaltender of the yr, stopped all 15 pictures he confronted Monday. He began for Staff Canada on Boxing Day.

Brett Brochu of London, the reigning Ontario Hockey League goaltender of the yr, began Canada’s second sport in December. It was a wholesome scratch on Monday.

Elliott Desnoyers wore a Hockey Canada hat every single day through the first half of the Quebec Premier Junior Hockey League season. It was a continuing reminder of his aim of creating the World Junior workforce. He achieved that aim in December.

The Halifax Mooseheads celebrity middle will return to Staff Canada this summer season wanting a little bit totally different. For the primary time in his life, Desnoyers has grown a mustache.

“Simply one thing I needed to attempt for this summer season difficulty,” he defined with a smile. “I got here right here for the second version and I needed to do one thing.”

How does it really feel?

“I adore it. I watch the NHL rather a lot and Auston Matthews does it very nicely.”

Desnoyers hopes his gamers will comply with his lead.

“I feel [Donovan] Sebrango is becoming a member of the workforce and I hope there shall be a few different members,” he mentioned with a smile. “If you wish to ask them, it will be appreciated.”

Desnoyers says his dad and mom are on board with the brand new look.

“They adore it,” he mentioned. “My mother loves it so I am joyful about that.”

Bedard must wait one other season earlier than being drafted, however the 17-year-old is already rubbing shoulders with among the elite expertise within the Nationwide Hockey League. He was just lately in Toronto the place he educated with a gaggle of gamers understanding with Gary Roberts, together with Connor McDavid, Darnell Nurse, Robert Thomas and Quinton Byfield.

“Whenever you’re with a few of these guys you possibly can take issues in and study rather a lot,” Bedard mentioned.

What did he take from watching McDavid?

“Work ethic. I did not get to skate with him this summer season. I used to be solely there for a couple of days, however like he was within the health club, he was so centered and the whole lot was so detailed. You’ll be able to study rather a lot. Even seeing it work out.”

Again dwelling in British Columbia, Bedard skates with guys like Mathew Barzal, Dante Fabrro and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. It has grown particularly near Barzal.

“We grew to become good associates,” Bedard mentioned. “He despatched me a textual content earlier than the competitors. He asks me about my taking pictures and I ask about his skating and we will study issues from one another.”

Bedard’s shot remains to be turning heads among the many gamers.

“It is unbelievable,” linebacker Joshua Roy mentioned. “I do not know the way this man can shoot so laborious.”

“My stick is horrible,” defined Bedard. “It is 70 flex. “

The stick helps, however Bedard’s burst has been fine-tuned through the years.

“It is one thing I am most happy with,” he mentioned. “Getting in my yard or on the ice and taking pictures the puck rather a lot, that is what I like. Do rather a lot.”

“I feel he burns an hour a day,” mentioned Cameron. “If you’ll be elite it’s a must to work and clearly he’s doing. ”

Lineup at Tuesday’s follow:

F

Roy – MacThomas – Bedard
Johnson – Stankoven – Foerster
Ostapchuk – Greig – Dufour
Cuylle – Desnoyers – Left hand
Othmann – Duanag

D

Sebrango-Zellweger
O’Rourke – Cormier
Seeley – Thomson
Del Mastro – Lambos

G

Backyard
Legs
Leaflet

Energy-play models at follow Tuesday:

PP1

QB: Zellweger
Aspect: Bedard, Johnson
Medium: Drained
Net Entrance: McTavish

PP2

QB: Cormier
Aspect: Roy, Seeley/Thompson
Medium: Greig/Othmann
Clear face: Foerster

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