HANNOVER, GERMANY - The Canadian Hockey Association announced on Thursay that forward Ryan Smyth, of the Edmonton Oilers, has been named captain for the remainder of the 2001 IIHF World Hockey Championship after Michael Peca suffered a fractured cheek bone Wednesday night during a 5-1 win over Russia.
Smyth, 26, is taking part in his 3rd consecutive World Championship. The native of Banff, AB, also won a gold medal with Canada at the 1995 World Junior Hockey Championship. It was also announced that forward Steve Sullivan, of Timmins, ON, joins Jason Smith, Joe Thorntonand Scott Walker as assistant captains who will rotate through the games, with only two players wearing the "A" during each game.
Peca, the captain of this years World Championship team for Canada, suffered a fractured left cheek bone when he collided with a Russian player in the first period. Peca scored on the ensuing play, on a 2 on 1 rush with Steve Sullivan that put Canada up 3-1 on Team Russia. Peca played the rest of the game, and was named player of the game of Canada's 5-1 win over Russia. After the game, he was evaluated by Team Canada medical staff and was taken for precautionary x-rays - which then showed the fractured cheek bone.
Peca returned home to Buffalo on Thursday morning, and will be re-evaluated by doctors there. The team has still not made a decision on a replacement for Peca on the Team Canada roster.