What a difference a year can make. Twelve months ago, Corey Perry was heartbroken as one of the last players released by Canada prior to the beginning of the 2004 World Junior Championship. Fast forward twelve months. The native of Peterborough and London Knights’ sharpshooter is now a fixture on potentially the most dangerous line at the 2005 World Junior Championship, along with Sidney Crosby and Patrice Bergeron. And the feeling he gets as he plays is made that much more special by last year’s heart break.
“It was heart breaking last year, being released on the last day, one of the last cuts. So now it’s been a great feeling to make it, to earn a spot on this team.”
“Today was unbelievable. Seeing all those Canadian flags, and jerseys and people yelling ‘Go Canada Go’. It feels like we’re back in Canada now, back in Manitoba.”
When Jeremy Colliton went down with an injury during Canada’s first exhibition game, Perry stepped in on a line with the highly touted Crosby and one-year NHL veteran Bergeron. And sparks flew. The line has been nothing short of electric since they’ve been together. Now, with Colliton back in the lineup, Perry has been left on the line. And that’s fine with him.
“I’ve got two great linemates right now with Sidney and Patrice. I can’t ask for anything more. It’s going well and the team’s going well. And that’s really all that matters.”
In Canada’s 8-1 win over Sweden, Perry continued his playmaking ways, registering two assists. A prolific goalscorer at every level, he’s been the set-up man so far at the 2005 World Junior Hockey Championship. But things could change quickly, with linemates like the ones he’s been sharing icetime with.
“We were passing the puck around pretty well out there. Me to Patrice, Patrice to Crosby, and he’d put it in the back of the net. He has a knack for scoring and that’s what he’s here for.”
“It’s just a role (playmaker) that I’ve come across. I’m still shooting a lot … I’m trying to shoot more than I have been. If they don’t go in, they don’t go in … they’ll wack the rebounds in. That’s all I can do.”
Perry and his Canadian teammates are right back at it on Tuesday, facing Germany at 7pm (Eastern).