Hockey Canada Network |
Mason Gets Call Against Finns in Critical Quarterfinal
Alan Adams
January 1, 2008

PARDUBICE, Czech Republic – Corey Hirsch has been around goalies enough to know that Steve Mason is ready for the next step on the road to gold at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Mason, who stars for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, got the nod Tuesday to start between the pipes for Canada's quarterfinal game on Wednesday against Finland.

Mason made 15 saves in Canada's 4-1 win over Denmark on Monday, and blanked Slovakia 2-0 in an earlier preliminary round game. The Oakville, ON native enters the game with a tournament-best .973 save percentage.

"He is a good kid and he is pretty normal as goalies go," says Hirsch, Hockey Canada's goaltending consultant. "He is very driven and very motivated."

Hirsch has an idea what will be going through Mason's mind leading up to the game against Finland.

Hirsch played for Canada at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Norway, where the Canadians weren't given much chance of making it to the medal round before Hirsch backstopped the Canadians to the gold medal final where they lost to Sweden in a shootout.

Hirsch knows a few things about playing under pressure.

"I talk to him (Mason) all the time," says Hirsch. "He knows all he can do is do his job as well as he can. He can't score goals and all he can do is stop the other team from scoring."

Hirsch has nothing special in mind when it comes to preparing Mason for what will undoubtedly be the biggest game to date of his very promising career.

"We will work on some very basic things, keep it simple and just get back to basics," he says.

The 19-year-old Mason had been alternating starts with Jonathan Bernier up until now, and Hirsch says the coaching staff has confidence in both netminders.

"We feel we have two NHL caliber goalies," he says.

Hirsch also spent some time working with Bernier during Tuesday’s practice in the event he has to come off the bench.

Hirsch says Bernier has rebounded after a disappointing 4-3 loss to Sweden and Bernier knows he wasn't to blame for the loss that snapped Canada's 20-game winning streak at the World Juniors.

"He knows he may have to come in and he's ready," said Hirsch.

Mason was taken in the third round (69th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets, and started this season on Columbus’ roster, although he never saw any game action.

He was returned to London by the Blue Jackets on October 9th, and has a 19-4-1 record through 26 games this season.

"His puck-handling ability is huge," said Hirsch when asked what he liked about Mason. "His size, his mobility. He is quite effective."

For more information:

André Brin
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada

Jason LaRose
Manager, Content Services
Hockey Canada

Kristen Lipscombe
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada

Keegan Goodrich
Coordinator, Media
Hockey Canada

2014 Esso Cup: MON 5 - EDM 4
Apr 22, 2014
Faith Steeves netteda hat trip to leadthe Rockets to itsfirst win.
2014 TELUS Cup: PA 1 - CHA 1
Apr 22, 2014
Goaltending stole the show as the Mintos and Grenadiers tied.
2014 WU18C: CAN 2 - RUS 3 (SO)
Apr 22, 2014
A shootout loss was still enough for Canada to clinch first in Group A.
2014 Esso Cup: WEY 3 - FRA 2
Apr 22, 2014
Caitlin Dempsey’st wo goals paced Weyburn past Fraser Valley.
2014 TELUS Cup: TOR 3 - HFX 0
Apr 22, 2014
Longo a marqué deux fois pour procurer un premier gain aux Young Nationals.
2014 TELUS Cup: MJ 3 - OKA 3
Apr 22, 2014
Another tie for both the Generals and Rockets, this time a 3-3 game.
2014 ESSO CUP STC 2 – SUD 1
Apr 22, 2014
A shorthanded goal from Alexa Vasko late in the second was the difference.
2014 Esso Cup: STC 3 – FRA 0
Apr 21, 2014
Sabres score twice on the power play to defeat Phantom Monday night.
2014 Esso Cup: SUD 5 - MON 1
Apr 21, 2014
Karli Shell scored twice and added an assist in Sudbury’s 5-1 win.
2014 TELUS Cup: CHA 3 - OKA 4
Apr 21, 2014
Special teams was key as the Rockets and Grenadiers skated to a tie.
2014 TELUS Cup: PA 4 - TOR 1
Apr 21, 2014
Four different players scored to give the Mintos the first win.
2014 TELUS Cup: HFX 2 - MJ 2
Apr 21, 2014
The Generals scored twice in the third period to earn the draw.
Photo Credit: