Red 4 - White 1
FOLIGNO, ASHTON SCORE AS RED BEATS WHITE IN CANADIAN JUNIOR INTRASQUAD GAME
TORONTO – If Marcus Foligno makes Canada's team for the world junior championship, he'll get to play at home – in Buffalo, N.Y.
Foligno took a big step in that direction on Sunday as the Sudbury Wolves winger scored two goals to lead Team Red to a 4-1 victory over Team White in an intrasquad game at the team selection camp.
“That would be icing on the cake, but just playing for Team Canada is the goal here,” said Foligno, who was born in Buffalo but holds dual Canadian-U.S. citizenship. “Whenever you get a chance to put up some numbers it's good.
“I had a couple more chances I'd like to have put in too. (Linemates) Riley Sheahan and Curtis Hamilton are good guys to play with too.”
The world juniors begin Dec. 26 in Buffalo, when Canada will play its first game against Russia.
Foligno is the son of former NHL sniper and ex-Buffalo Sabre Mike Foligno. His older brother Nick, who skates for the Ottawa Senators, has played in two world championships for the U.S.
Nick came up through the U.S. national development team while the family lived in the Buffalo area, while Marcus spent his formative years in Sudbury, Ont., where their father moved to coach the junior Wolves. Mike Foligno has since become an assistant coach with the Anaheim Ducks, while Marcus remained in Sudbury.
“It's been like that the whole time, it's fun and it makes for a good rivalry,” Foligno said of his brother.
Coach Dave Cameron said Foligno played well but did not want to address the play of individual players.
Carter Ashton, whose father Brent also had a long NHL career, also scored and Jaden Schwartz had the other goal for Red while Louis Leblanc replied for Team White.
“It was a good pace out there, a little scrambly, but that's what you expect in the first game,” said Leblanc, the Montreal Juniors scoring star. “It feels good. You want to score when you can. It breaks the ice and gives you confidence.”
A second intrasquad game is to be held Monday night at the Mastercard Centre, the Toronto Maple Leafs' practice rink, while a game is set for Tuesday night against a team of university players.
A scoreless first period was marked by an imposing rush to the net by Foligno that was thwarted by a fine save by Calvin Pickard, while White's Ryan Johansen later fired from in close but was stopped on a blocker save by Mark Visentin.
A White penalty had just ended when Riley Sheahan provoked a turnover and Foligno backhanded a shot past Pickard inside the near post from the edge of the crease 42 seconds into the second frame.
Ashton was tangled up with defenceman Erik Gudbranson in front of the White goal when Brett Connolly's pass went in off his skate at 16:42.
Only 42 seconds into the third, Leblanc combined with defenceman Ryan Ellis and Johansen to score on a snap shot from the right wing past Olivier Roy.
Schwartz banged in the rebound of a shot by 17-year-old Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at 7:39. Foligno stole the puck from Gudbranson and went in alone to deke Anderson in the final minute.
Both teams changed goalies at 9:42 of the second, with Roy replacing Visintin and J.P. Anderson in for Pickard.
The coaching staff watched and took notes from the seats as former NHL players Todd Harvey (White) and Scott Walker (Red) changed the lines from the benches.
Notes: Defenceman Dylan Olsen of the University of Minnesota-Duluth and Schwartz of Colorado College arrived Sunday, a day late after being stranded by snow in Minnesota … With only a small seating area at the rink, selling tickets was out of the question. Hockey Canada held a drawing among its social media followers to give out 20 pairs of tickets per game to fans. Between them, some players' families and a large group of scouts, there were about 200 in attendance.
Check out HockeyCanadaImages.ca for shots of this year's Canadian National Junior Team.
Note: Penalties are on one (1) minute
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André Brin Director, Communications | Directeur, communications