CALGARY, AB -- Canada's National Men's hockey team faces off Friday night in Kenora, ON against the Manitoba Moose of the International Hockey League, the first game in a 10-game tour that includes a five-game series against the Norwegian National Team, Team Canada general manager and associate coach Mike Johnston announced.
Team Canada, which opened its training camp on Sept. 7 with 40 players on hand, leaves for its first road trip with a 23-player roster after trimming three players on Wednesday and adding another on Thursday. Nic Beaudoin of Ottawa, who played for the Detroit (now Plymouth) Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League last season, joined Team Canada on Thursday. Beaudoin was selected 51st overall in the 1995 National Hockey League Entry Draft by the Colorado Avalanche.
The players deleted from the roster were: Shawn Allard of Petawawa, ON, former University of Calgary Dinosaur player Todd Johnson and Martin Lapointe of Rouyn-Noranda, PQ, who played last season for Dalhousie University.
Kenora native Curtis Bowen, one of 15 forwards on the Team Canada roster, is starting his second stint with the National Team. A former OHL junior star with the Ottawa 67's, Bowen was a first-round draft choice of the Detroit Red Wings in 1992 and played for the National Team in 1995-96. Last season, Bowen's second with the Adirondack Red Wings of the American Hockey League, he scored 11 goals and added 11 assists for 22 points in 78 games. In 1995-96, Bowen played 31 games for the National Team, totalling 16 points on eight goals and as many assists.
"Playing for the National is an excellent career opportunity for me, I had no hesitation in returning to play for them," said Bowen, 23. "And it will be exciting to play in my hometown to kick off our tour."
A pair of games in Kenora bookend the National Team's 10-game tour. Team Canada plays at the Kenora Recreation Centre on Friday night, Sept. 19 against the Moose (game time, 7:30 p.m.), and returns to play a game against Norway on Thursday, Oct. 2 (game time 7:00 p.m.). In between, the team also plays games against the Moose in Selkirk and Winkler, MB, travels to Quebec City for games against the Quebec Rafales, also of the IHL, on Sept. 23 and 24, then plays the Norwegians in Winnipeg, Brandon, The Pas and Flin Flon.
"We think we have a very competitive, entertaining team and look forward, as we always do, to demonstrating what our program is about again this season," said head coach Andy Murray. "Travelling to small-town Canada is a key part of our mandate and something we take great pride in."
The National Team will play a 67-game schedule this season, including participation in the Deutschland Cup in Germany from Nov. 7-9, the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland from Dec. 26-31 and the Sweden Games in Stockholm from April 21-26.
The team's lineup this season includes former Philadelphia Flyers' goaltender Dominic Roussel, who will be joined by Christian Bronsard, who backstopped the Hull Olympiques to the Memorial Cup championship last spring.
Calgary native Pat Conacher, a 17-year professional whose 13-year NHL career included stops in Edmonton, New Jersey, Los Angeles and the New York Islanders, provides veteran leadership on the Team Canada roster. Conacher also will serve as a coaching intern and work closely with Johnston and Murray.
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