Team Red 4 - Team White 0
RED EARNS INTERSQUAD SPLIT - GOALTENDING LEADS TEAM RED TO 4-0 WIN IN SECOND INTERSQUAD GAME
Steve Mason (Oakville, ON/London, OHL) and Tyson Sexsmith (Priddis, AB/Vancouver, WHL) combined to turn aside 26 shots as Team Red earned a split of the intersquad games at the 2008 National Junior Team selection camp with a 4-0 win on Wednesday night in Calgary.
Zac Boychuk (Airdrie, AB/Lethbridge, WHL) scored twice while Steve Stamkos (Unionville, ON/Sarnia, OHL) and Kyle Turris (New Westminster, BC/University of Wisconsin, WCHA) added singles for Team Red, who rebounded from a 3-2 loss one night earlier.
After a scoreless first period that was dominated by the goaltenders – Sexsmith stopped seven shots, while Leland Irving (Swan Hills, AB/Everett, WHL) turned away eight – Stamkos showed why he is considered one of the top prospects for the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
The 17-year-old sniper took a pass in the slot from Matt Halischuk (Mississauga, ON/Kitchener, OHL) and rifled a shot over the shoulder of Irving, sending the water bottle flying behind the Calgary Flames’ prospect.
Irving and Sexsmith gave way to Jonathan Bernier (Laval, QC/Lewiston, QMJHL) and Mason, respectively, at the midway point of the period, and Team Red gave Bernier a rude welcome to the game just three minutes after the change.
Claude Giroux (Ottawa, ON/Gatineau, QMJHL) broke up a rush on a Team White power play and fed Boychuk, who broke in alone on Bernier and roofed a backhand for a 2-0 lead on the first shot faced by the Los Angeles Kings’ first-round pick from 2006.
After Team White applied pressure early in the third period, looking to cut the Red lead to one, it was an unlucky bounce that led to the third Team Red goal.
Team White defenceman Logan Pyett (Milestone, SK/Regina, WHL) tried to bank the puck off the boards behind the net to partner Keaton Ellerby (Calgary, AB/Moose Jaw, WHL), but the puck ricocheted off the side of the net right onto the stick of Turris, who calmly beat Bernier for the unassisted insurance marker.
Boychuk rounded out the scoring in the final minute with his second of the game, cutting around the net before finding the top corner behind Bernier.
Team Red finished with a 27-26 advantage in shots on goal – Irving stopped nine of 10 shots and Bernier 14 of 17 for Team White, while Sexsmith turned aside 11 shots and Mason 15 for Team Red.
Thirty-five players remain in camp for 22 spots on Canada’s 2008 National Junior Team, which will be chosen in the coming days. The team will depart Friday afternoon for Europe, where it will look for a fourth consecutive gold medal at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship in the Czech Republic.