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Team Canada starter will gain career boost
Star News Services
Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2006


He goes in an unknown and comes out with his name in lights.

That's routinely been the case for Canada's starting goaltender at the world junior hockey championship.

Justin Pogge became a household name after playing every minute of Canada's gold-medal effort in Vancouver in January.

Jeff Glass was equally famous after backstopping his country to gold in Grand Forks, N.D., at the 2005 tournament.

When you're Canada's No. 1 goalie, not only does everybody know your name, but if you're not drafted or signed to a contract by an NHL team, it increases your stock in both cases.

"We all want that No. 1 spot and we're going to do whatever it takes," said Leland Irving of the Everett Silvertips. "It would be a huge stepping stone in our careers to be able to have that starting goaltender for the world junior team in our background."

Irving is one of five goaltenders invited to Canada's selection camp and the two will represent their country at the 2007 world junior tournament in Sweden.

Only four goalies were on the ice Monday morning as Steve Mason of the London Knights continued to be sidelined with concussion-like symptoms. He was injured when Windsor Spitfire Cory McGillis collided with Mason Saturday in Windsor.

Trevor Cann of the Peterborough Petes arrived in Calgary at 1 a.m. local time and was on the ice at 9:30 at Father David Bauer Arena following his last-minute invitation to camp.

Carey Price of the Tri-City Americans, Jonathan Bernier of the Lewiston Maineiacs and Irving bring a combination of excellent statistics with their club teams, plus previous international experience with Canada's under-18 teams, to the selection camp.

They are first-round draft picks of their NHL clubs. Price is property of the Montreal Canadiens, Bernier belongs to the Los Angeles Kings and Irving is a Calgary Flames prospect.

JOVANOVSKI RETURNS TO VANCOVER When the Vancouver Canucks acquired marquee netminder Roberto Luongo last June, and then signed him for $6.75 million US a season, the fallout was swift.

General manager Dave Nonis no longer had the salary-cap bucks to retain swashbuckling defenceman Ed Jovanovski of Windsor. Nonis didn't even make Jovo an offer he could refuse.

July 1, the day unrestricted free agency opened for business, Jovanovski was snapped up by the Phoenix Coyotes for five years and $32.5 million US. He was gone to the Dogs.

Tonight, he faces his ex-mates, at least those still in Vancouver, at GM Place. They conceded Monday they miss his presence both on and off the ice.

"We miss him, without a doubt," Canuck blue-liner Mattias Ohlund said after a rigorous practice at the Garage. "He's obviously been one of the best offensive defencemen in the league the last few years.

"He brought something that very few guys have, the ability to turn a game around with a big play.

"He was also one of the leaders here. He had a good personality and he was a good fit in the room. I guess it's part of the business to see guys like that go."

PENGUINS 5 CAPITALS 4 Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby grabbed the headlines before Evgeni Malkin stole the show.

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