KITCHENER, ON -- Canada's National Junior Team released goaltender Evan Lindsay of Calgary, defenceman Brad Stuart of Rocky Mountain House, AB, and forwards Jay Legault of Peterborough, ON and Darren Van Oene of Edmonton from their Selection Camp roster on Monday, head coach Réal Paiement announced.
The four players were returned to their respective Canadian Hockey League teams: Lindsay to the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League; Stuart to the WHL's Regina Pats; Legault to the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League; and Van Oene to the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL.
The roster deletions reduced the National Junior Team Selection Camp roster to 28 players after three days of the six-day camp to choose the team that will represent Canada at the 1998 World Junior Hockey Championship in Helsinki, Finland from Dec. 25 - Jan.. The team will take 22 players -- 20 skaters and two goaltenders -- to the World Junior Championship, which Canada has won the last five years in a row.
Paiement, head coach of the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and assistant coaches Peter DeBoer (Plymouth Whalers , OHL) a nd Terry Bangen, along with Barry Trapp, Canadian Hockey's Director of Scouting, have been evaluating the players as they go through twice daily workouts, and a pair of intra-squad games.
Tonight and Tuesday night, the National Junior Team hopefuls will play exhibition games against All-Star Teams from the Ontario University Athletic Association -- against the West Division All-Stars tonight, and the East Division on Tuesday night. In both games, All-Star teams will use National Junior Team goalies. Both games will be held at the Kinsmen Arena at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex. Tickets are $7.75 for adults.
Paiement, his assistants and Trapp must trim the roster to 22 players by Wednesday, when the National Junior Team departs for Sweden, where the team will hold a pre-competition from Dec. 18-23. The team will then travel to Helsinki for the World Junior Championship.
Team Canada will play exhibition games against Sweden (Dec. 20) and Switzerland (Dec. 21) in Stockholm before moving on to Helsinki, where Canada opens the 1998 World Junior Hockey Championship against Finland, the host club. The broadcast of the tournament opener will be seen on TSN and RDS, beginning at 11a.m. EST. Both TSN and RDS will broadcast all of Canada's games at the World Junior Championship, along with the bronze- and gold-medal games.