KITCHENER, ON -- Canada's National Junior Team has released goaltender Patrick Desrochers of the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League, Ottawa 67's defenceman Nicholas Boynton, and forwards Colin Pepperall of the OHL's Erie Otters and Dan Cleary of the National Hockey League's Chicago Blackhawks, head coach Réal Paiement announced Wednesday.
The four roster deletions were the final moves made at the National Junior Team Selection Camp, held 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) and Terry Bangen, along with Barry Trapp, Canadian Hockey's Director of Scouting, evaluated 32 hopefuls at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex as they underwent twice daily workouts, a pair of intra-squad games and two exhibition games against All-Star teams from the Ontario University Athletic Association.
Paiement was scheduled to announce Canada's final roster for the 1998 World Junior Hockey Championship on Wednesday at a mid-day news conference at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex . Later on Wednesday, the team was scheduled to depart 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.