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  • Dougie Hamilton raises the Canada-Russia Challenge trophy in August (The Canadian Press)

    Thanks to the NHL lockout, Team Canada's roster for the IIHF World U20 Championship is a moving target. But Hockey Canada has its roster for next week's national junior team selection camp.

    Thirty-seven players have been chosen for the tryouts, which begin on Monday in Calgary. Team Canada, under coach Steve Spott, will begin the world junior in Ufa, Russia, on Dec. 26 as it vies to win its first gold medal in four seasons.

    Buzzing The Net has taken a stab at naming a final roster and you are invited to weigh in as well. We will host a livechat at 1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT to discuss the selections. Here is a look at each invitee. with commentary:

    Read More »from Hockey Canada names selection camp roster for world junior championship
  • Hockey Canada has announced the roster for the national junior team's selection camp next week and there's a feeling some of you might want to talk about it.

    Who should make the team that will head to Ufa, Russia, in three weeks? Whose omission from the camp is the worst injustice to hit Twitter since breakfast? Please join Cam Charron, Sunaya Sapurji, Neate Sager and a cast of many to discuss these matters at 1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT.

    A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

    Read More »from Team Canada Chatravaganza, Monday 1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT!
  • Sheldon Keefe is new Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds coach (Mike Carroccetto photo)With Sheldon Keefe, no amount of winning erases the first association with his name — but hey, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds need a shake-up.

    Were it not for his tie to David Frost, Keefe, who will be introduced today as the new Greyhounds coach, would have moved from presiding over a Junior A juggernaut to the Ontario Hockey League long, long ago. The lingering memory of it though is why Greyhounds GM Kyle Dubas firing Mike Stapleton and hiring Keefe away from the Central Canada Hockey League's Pembroke Lumber Kings amounts to a gutsy move to shake up a seventh-place team. It's inevitably going to be controversial and in no way one would wonder about doing it on the day when the media focus will be on the 12:30 p.m. ET announcement of Canada's national junior team selection camp roster. Of course not.

    Keefe has paid his dues and put enough distance between him and his past to earn a chance to return to the OHL fold. He has worked for Hockey Canada — he was on staff for the Canada East team at last month's World Junior A Challenge tournament — and the Lumber Kings have been dominant. More importantly, he's showed contrition about his role in the saga of the Brampton Boys.

    More via Dave Pollard:

    Though skeptics will question his honesty, Keefe is, as Dubas pointed out, forthright about his past. And, yes, Dubas asked him "point-blank" about all of it.

    "I'm glad they did," Keefe said on Sportsnet's HockeyCentral at Noon, adding that he was a poor teammate and captain when he played. "Obviously the perception that's out there still lingers and it is something, frankly, to question. It really has sort of been a mission of mine to let my accomplishments and my character shine through. The last seven years in this role, I think I've been able to do that.

    Read More »from Sheldon Keefe returns to OHL fold as Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds coach
  • Kevin Bailie stopped 16 of 19 Mississauga efforts in shootout marathon (QMI Agency file photo)No. 1 star: Kevin Bailie, London Knights (OHL)

    London's epic 19-round shootout win over Mississauga is the talk of the junior hockey world, and our own Neate Sager weighed in about it earlier today.

    But London netminder Bailie didn't even get a star at the Hershey Centre, despite denying the last 12 shooters he faced in the circus. So here's some recognition to a guy who gave up just three goals in 19 rounds and also stopped 36 of 39 shots in regulation and overtime.

    The Knights were outshot 39-25 during the game, yet still led 3-1 late in regulation before giving up two goals to send it to OT. Bailie's heroics in the shootout wrapped up the Knights' 15th win in a row, the longest such streak in the CHL this season.

    Give star 1A to Mississauga goalie Spencer Martin, who went 15-for-19 in the shootout and stopped 11 in a row before London's Seth Griffith became the first OHLer to score twice in a shootout to win it.

    No. 2 star: Josh Morrissey, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)

    The Raiders started the season strong, then endured a rough stretch before rounding back into form as of late. Prince Albert wrapped up a weekend sweep of the Regina Pats with an 8-2 pasting at the Brandt Centre. The Raiders outshot Regina 107-38 over the two games this weekend (P.A. won 5-3 on Saturday).

    Morrissey, a defenceman who was recently listed as an "A" prospect by Central Scouting for the 2013 draft, had his second career multiple-goal game Sunday, netting two and adding an assist. He was also a stout +5 on the night.

    One of the goals was pretty sweet, according to WHL blogger/commentator Cody Nickolet:

    Cody Nickolet ‏@WHLFromAbove
    Talk about a goal. #2013NHLDraft prospect @Morrissey_10 just scored one of the nicest the WHL has seen yet this season. Great patience/hands

    The Raiders maintained a one-point lead over Edmonton for the top spot in the Eastern Conference with the win, though the surging Oil Kings have two games in had.

    No. 3 star: Vincent Dunn, Val-d'Or Foreurs (QMJHL)

    There's no doubt that Dunn is a particularly unpopular figure in the Q right now, given his recent suspension for race-related comments made toward Halifax captain Trey Lewis.

    Hopefully, the 17-year-old centre learned from his mistakes and can shift the focus away from his mouth and onto his play, like his three-goal, one-assist performance in the Foreurs' 6-2 win at Shawinigan Sunday.

    It's first career hat trick for Dunn, who now has 16 goals and 36 points in 27 games after having just five goals and 13 points last season as a rookie.

    Read More »from Bailie stops 12 in a row in epic shootout to run London win streak to 15: Sunday’s 3 Stars
  • Boston Bruins pick Seth Griffith (OHL Images)

    If Seth Griffith had not gone 2-for-2 — a record itself — the London Knights and Mississauga Steelheads might have set a world record. As it is, they broke the OHL's record for the longest shootout in league history by a country mile.

    Two years ago, Straubing Tigers and EHC Munich were credited with setting a world record after needing 21 rounds to decide a winner after playing to a 4-4 tie. On Sunday, the Knights and Steelheads were within two rounds of tying that mark when Griffith, after every team had run through its entire lineup, beat the Steelheads' Spencer Martin for a 4-3 win. Griffith had been London's first man up about 17 minutes earlier; he was also the day's last since he gave the Knights their 15th consecutive win, the longest win streak in major junior so far this season.

    In November 2008, the Windsor Spitfires prevailed over the Saginaw Spirit in a 14-round shootout. So this was the first time the teams batted around before deciding a winner. In Round 19, Knights goalie Kevin Bailie turned away second-timer Dylan Smoskowitz for his 12th consecutive stop. Griffith then snapped Martin's roll of 11 in a row by snapping a shot in glove side.

    Read More »from London Knights, Mississauga Steelheads have OHL’s longest shootout, using entire benches
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has already played in the senior world championship (The Associated Press)A good chunk of Canada loves to live vicariously through 22 teenagers as the IIHF World U20 Championship draws near. That holiday ritual of having national pride staked on a six-game tournament only stands to increase in a NHL lockout year.

    Five of the first nine players chosen two NHL drafts ago — an unheard-of bounty now that many of the top teenagers turn pro before age 20 — could be available for Canada if the the NHL's Nuclear Winter III continues through December. That should stoke interest and up the pressure on the Steve Spott-coached Canucks to end a three-year victory drought, even though this tournament will be held in far-off, forbidding Ufa, Russia.

    With Hockey Canada's selection camp roster set to drop Monday, Buzzing The Net took a stab projecting the lineup that Spott might to Russia, in three weeks. It appears Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will play (no reason to think otherwise) and this exercise no end to the lockout. Careful consideration was given to roles, potential line combinations and defence pairings, but all players are listed alphabetically.

    Read More »from Canada’s world junior projected roster: this team has 22 tough choices
  • Max Domi is in the top 10 in OHL scoring (OHL Images)

    No. 1 star: Max Domi, London Knights (OHL)

    The Guelph Storm had a good chance to deal the Knights a loss, but could not keep Domi out of the dirty areas to score two crucial goals in London's well-earned 3-1 win. Storm goalie Garret Sparks was sharp and the teams were level heading toward the five-minute mark of regulation when the potential NHL first-round pick made base camp in the goalmouth and got his stick on a Brett Welychka rebound a hiccup before he was crushed by a cross-check by 6-foot-5 defenceman Andrey Pedan. That sent the OHL-leading Londoners on to their 14th consecutive win, a 3-1 verdict.

    Domi (2G, +2) also opened scoring with another close-range strike. He and linemates Alex Broadhurst and Seth Griffith worked the cycle perfect, with Domi slipping into the slot to smack in Griffith's centring pass. The Knights' other highly touted 17-year-old forward, Bo Horvat, also scored. The two-goal night gave Domi 16 goals and 40 points in 29 games, top among OHLers in next summer's NHL draft class. (The suspended Sean Monahan has 36 points in five fewer games, but is also a third-year junior.)

    Read More »from Max Domi, London Knights run win streak to 14: Saturday’s 3 Stars
  • 'Free Mike' T-shirts supporting Mike Johnston have popped up in Portland (via Taking Note)At the end of the day, the Portland Winterhawks' deadly sin was pride. The Western Hockey League's might have been envy. Or wrath. Wrath could work too.

    Four days in, the furore between the WHL and the Rose City Rogues shows little sign of abating. League commissioner Ron Robison belatedly did the media rounds to explain and expound (see Hour 3 in that link on why the Winterhawks' "lack of disclosure on these benefits" justified the penalty.

    Ed Willes also reported that the "smoking gun" came when Portland traded Seth Swenson to Seattle last season, which seems to be have been corroborated by Elliotte Friedman's reporting about a player with a side deal. Coincidentally, the Thunderbirds were Portland's opponent on Friday when fans broke out the "Free Mike" shirts in support of suspended coach-GM Mike Johnston, who's banned from WHL arenas for the rest of the season.

    It will not end there. The WHL's choice for a cone of silence and the way Portland responded — mounting a PR offensive instead of going through back channels in time-honoured hockey fashion — blew it up. It might have also given officials in the Oregon city cold feet about renovating an arena for a team which might struggle in 2016-17 and '17-18 if the penalty stands. That is an odd unintended consequence for Robison's WHL, which has really worked hard to get all 22 teams playing in modern arenas.

    [Sunaya Sapurji: WHL, Portland in a winter of discontent]

    That, unfortunately for the WHL, will leave people wondering if Portland got whacked for rebuilding too well. Friedman, even while trying to be circumspect for a CBC readership, starts off by saying the "the rest of the WHL" hates the Winterhawks but, "Is it because they're cheaters or because they're successful?" People will draw their own conclusions, of course.

    Read More »from Portland broke rules, but WHL’s motivation for stiff sanctions still questioned
  • Sarnia's Reid Boucher scored 13 goals in 12 November outingsNo. 1 star: Reid Boucher, Sarnia Sting (OHL)

    Boucher wrapped up a huge November with his first hat trick of the season as Sarnia rallied from an early deficit to beat Saginaw 7-4. The New Jersey Devils draftee started slow this season, but now has 13 goals in his last 11 games to raise his season total to 19.

    It's the latest streak in what's been an up-and-down OHL career for Boucher. He started out last season with 10 goals in first nine games, then later endured an entirely goal-less month of January.

    This year, he had a solid, if unspectacular start. But his recent run has been huge for the Sting, who need Boucher to produce alongside Alex Galchenyuk and Charles Sarault to become a serious threat.

    In addition to his three goals, Boucher added assists on the Sting's final two goals. Sarault had five points of own (2G-3A), and scored the "Burger Goal" into an empty net late in regulation to win fans a free burger at the local Harvey's. The Sting have scored at least seven goals in consecutive home games (the benchmark for free ground beef), making it reportedly the first time the team's ever given fans such a gift in consecutive games.

    No. 2 star: Reid Gow, Spokane Chiefs (WHL)

    Our all-Reid top two is rounded out by the Spokane defenceman who came into Friday's game in Swift Current with all of seven goals in 121 WHL games.

    Gow erupted for two goals and two assists as the Chiefs stomped the Broncos 7-2. Gow, an 18-year-old in his third full season, is now averaging a point a game with 22 in 22 contests. Todd Fiddler also scored twice for Spokane to move, shockingly, into a tie for second in the league with 20 goals.

    The victory kicked off a six-games-in-nine-days trip through the Eastern Division, and the Chiefs need a good showing to keep pace with the recently newsworthy Portland Winterhawks, who lead them by six points in the U.S. Division.

    The Broncos, meanwhile, continue to tread water in the Eastern Conference race and fell to 1-4 at home against American teams (they only managed to beat Seattle).

    No. 3 star: Gabriel Desjardins, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL)

    Desjardins came back to haunt his old club, notching the game-tying and game-winning goals in the Huskies' 4-1 win over the Quebec Remparts at Le Colisée.

    Quebec traded Desjardins to the Huskies in the offseason after acquiring him from Halifax midway through last season. An overager from Montreal, Desjardins is up to 13 goals and 35 points in 26 games this season.

    The Huskies had been sliding as of late, and needed the win to regain a solid position in the top eight. Meanwhile, the Remparts are winless in their last three and are slowly losing contact with Halifax and Blainville-Broisbriand for the league's top spot.

    Read More »from Boucher caps off monster month with five-point night: Friday’s 3 Stars
  • Amherst Stadium, home of the Ramblers (Wikipedia)Chirping and heckling at a hockey rink is a time-honoured part of hoserism, but it can go too far sometimes.

    Keeping people from swearing in public — let alone in a hockey rink, where it can sometimes seem that English in superfluous to profanity — may be "like trying put out a fire with an eyedropper." However, the community of Amherst, Nova Scotia is vowing to sure as h-e-double-hockey-sticks try at games involving the Maritime Hockey League's Ramblers. In reaction to concerns about some of the taunting directed at players during a Bridgewater Lumberbacks-Amherst affair last Saturday, anyone caught swearing will be booted.

    Really.

    Drop the f-bomb at the next Amherst Ramblers game and it's going to be your last.

    The Town of Amherst is responding to complaints of unruly behavior and foul language directed at players and fans at last Saturday's game between the Ramblers and the Bridgewater Lumberjacks by putting Amherst Stadium staff and security on notice: anyone caught using inappropriate language is to be escorted out of the stadium immediately.

    Read More »from Junior A team will ban fans caught swearing

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