During his three seasons with Sault Ste. Marie in the OHL, Barrett Hayton never lost to London winning all nine games he played against Dale Hunter and the Knights. That perfect record was a point of discussion during Team Canada’s summer camp at the World Junior Showcase.
“He was on me a bit about that,” Hayton said with a smile. “He actually brought it up. I don’t have that in me to throw that out there. He just brought it up and it was a funny, little joke.”
Hayton scored four goals and added three assists in two games against London last season.
“I said, ‘Take it easy on us,'” Hunter recalled with a laugh. “It’s a good thing he didn’t come back.”
Instead, Hayton made the Arizona Coyotes. Canada has five returning players at the World Juniors, but only Hayton has NHL experience on his resume.
“It makes a big difference,” said Hunter. “He’s one of those kids who absorbs so he’s watching everything and he’s here and he’s working his tail off and he’s ready to go. On and off the ice he’s a character kid and everybody looks up to him.”
In a team meeting before Wednesday’s practice, Hunter officially named Hayton captain of Team Canada with Flint centre Ty Dellandrea, Grand Rapids centre Joe Veleno and Spokane defenceman Ty Smith serving as alternates.
“Just incredibly honoured,” said Hayton, who wore the ‘C’ with the Greyhounds last season. “This is the tournament you grew up watching and you idolized the guys who played here so to be able to lead this team and lead the group we have is a special feeling. Having that responsibility is something I love and have a lot of pride in.”
The 19-year-old from Peterborough, Ont. possesses the blend of skill and grittiness that Hunter hopes will become the identity of this year’s Team Canada.
“He’s hard to play against,” noted Dellandrea. “He has that skill and poise with the puck, but what is underrated is how hard he works and how aggressive he is too. So, a lot of people think of him as a skill guy, always playing with the puck, but he’s tough and aggressive and I think that’s underrated about him.”
The NHL experience also carries a lot of weight inside the dressing room.
“His presence,” said Dellandrea when asked what stands out, “the way he carries himself, everybody listens to him.”
Hayton scored a goal and recorded three assists in 14 games with the Coyotes before being loaned to Hockey Canada for the World Juniors. Those months spent in the NHL accelerated his development.
“It’s the best league in the world,” Hayton said as his eyes lit up. “It’s an incredible league. The biggest thing for me was just the guys I was surrounded with. There’s so many tremendous leaders, it’s a great group there, there’s a lot of older guy and some young guys and they’ve all been incredible for me in learning how to carry yourself, learning how to take care of yourself, learning how to play on the ice, it’s really everything. It’s a whole package of learning.”
Hunter didn’t name a starting goalie on Wednesday, but whoever gets the call – Guelph’s Nico Daws or Portland’s Joel Hofer – will be playing for Canada at an international tournament for the first time.
Does the lack of experience matter?
“It’s a big setting, very intimidating, I guess you could say, but I’m just here to stop pucks,” Daws said. “I don’t think it really matters too much aside from the bigger ice. No matter what jersey you’re wearing you’re still doing the same thing.”
Daws has done that thing very well this season posting a .939 save percentage in the OHL and carrying that into Canada’s camp where he has a .942 save percentage in his four appearances.
As for intimidating settings, Daws has some experience with that thanks to the Barrie Colts, who visited Guelph on Dec. 6 and seemed determined to get under his skin.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” Daws said. “They just came into the game and they were hitting me. I got hammered behind the net when I was playing the puck, they were yelling at me and trying to get in my head. I was told before the game even started that the first shot was going to go in. It didn’t really work out too well for them.”
Daws stopped all 39 shots he faced and was the first star in a 4-0 Storm win.
“It didn’t really faze me,” he said. “You know, obviously, a little bit more motivation so it probably helped me.”
Emotions will likely run hot on Boxing Day as Canada and the United States renew their rivalry and that’s fine by Daws.
“It’s something I’ve watched my whole life,” the Burlington, Ont. native said. “It’s one of those things, you always have it out for the States and it would be cool to be a part of one of those games.”
Unlike last year when Canada throttled Denmark 14-0 in a breezy opener, this year’s first tournament encounter is full of intrigue. The United States has won a medal in four straight World Juniors and, like Canada, has five returning players.
“Playing each other I think grabs both teams’ attention right away,” said Team USA coach Scott Sandelin.
“There’s no putting your foot in the water,” said USA centre Shane Pinto. “You got to go full in and it’s going to be a tough one.”
The battle will happen on the ice and between the ears. Discipline is key and trash talk is expected.
“The boys are really hyped up,” said Veleno. “Going to be a lot of chirping and some physicality going on. It’s going to be a real good game to watch and real fun game to be a part of. We like playing in those types of games, it’s kind of the Canadian way a little bit so we’re excited.”
How does Veleno rate his chirping skills?
“Not very good,” he said with a laugh. “I just like being a part of it, hearing the other guys chirp cracks me up a little bit, but I’m not really that type of person. I don’t really talk too much on the ice.”
So, who will lead Canada’s verbal barrage?
“I got to say (Aidan) Dudas is the best one,” Veleno said. “You can speak to him and he’ll probably tell you the same thing. He’s just a tenacious little guy, who likes to stir the pot.”
When the United States finalized their roster on Monday night, Canadian defenceman Jacob Bernard-Docker sent a congratulatory text to Pinto, a fellow Ottawa Senators prospect and his teammate at the University of North Dakota. But there will be no more communication between the pair until after Thursday’s game.
“We aren’t really going to talk right now,” Pinto said.
Bernard-Docker and Pinto did speak about the World Juniors back at school, but they didn’t get too deep into it, because neither guy felt they had a spot secure. Fast forward to Christmas and Bernard-Docker is skating on Canada’s shutdown pair with Kevin Bahl while Pinto is skating with Nick Robertson and Oliver Wahlstrom, a top-six unit on Team USA.
“He’s just so poised with the puck,” Pinto said of Bernard-Docker. “He’s very mature in his game. He’s very good defensively.”
“He’s a two-way guy,” noted Bernard-Docker of Pinto, “big, has a great shot and has great vision as well.”
The mutual admiration will be put on hold as of 1 pm ET on Boxing Day.
“I know his tactics up at the point,” said Pinto, “but I don’t know if he knows mine so hopefully he kind of gets surprised by that. We’ll see.”
“I know everything he’s going to do,” Bernard-Docker said with a chuckle. “He thinks he has stuff up his sleeves, but I’m pretty sure I know his moves.”
Pinto isn’t about the slow up on the forecheck just because he’s playing against a teammate.
“I’m going to hit him,” Pinto vowed. “USA versus Canada, it’s going to be intense so, yeah, I’m going to hit him.”
Lines at Wednesday’s practice:
Power play units at Wednesday’s practice:
Lafrenière – Veleno – Hayton
Byram – Lavoie – Foote
Avalanche forward Andre Burakovsky a ‘possibility’ to return for Game 6 – Sportsnet.ca
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Canada's Summer McIntosh, 15, wins 2nd gold medal at world aquatics – CBC Sports
Summer McIntosh of Kelowna, B.C., capped a sensational week of swimming on Saturday, becoming the first Canadian with two victories and four medals at a single world championship.
The 15-year-old lowered her junior record time to four minutes 32.04 seconds in the women’s 400-metre individual medley on Saturday in Budapest, Hungary. Earlier this week, she also set world junior marks in the 200 butterfly (gold) and 400 freelstyle (silver) while earning freestyle relay bronze in the 200.
‘”This is a dream come true,” McIntosh gushed to the crowd in the post swim on-deck interview. At 15 years 311 days, she is the second-youngest winner of the women’s 400 IM behind Tracy Caulkins of the United States, who was 15 years 224 days in her 1978 win in West Berlin.
McIntosh took the lead early in Saturday’s race and waged a battle with American Katie Grimes, who touched the wall in 4:32.67 for her second silver of these worlds after placing second in the 1,500. Teammate Emma Weyant, the 2020 Olympic silver medallist, earned bronze in 4:36.00.
“It’s really cool to race someone like Katie as she is around my age and she’s a really tough competitor,” said McIntosh, who clocked 4:34.86 on April 9 at Canadian trials. “So I’m looking forward to racing her and keep pushing myself.”
WATCH | McIntosh holds off American Katie Grimes for 4th world medal:
Katinka Hosszu of Hungary had her streak of consecutive world titles in the 400 medley halted at four as she finished fourth in 4:37.89. The 33-year-old has won the race five times in her last seven appearances at worlds and still holds the world record of 4:26.36 and 4:29.33 championship mark from 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Canada’s women wrapped up the competition with bronze in the 100 medley relay, matching their result from 2019 worlds.
Kylie Masse, Rachel Nicol, Maggie Mac Neil and anchor Penny Oleksiak stopped the clock in 3:55.01, behind the Americans (3:53.78) and Australia (3:54.25). It was Nicol’s first world medal while Oleksiak broke a tie with Masse with her ninth career medal at the event, all in the relay.
“‘It’s obvious at this point I wouldn’t be here without the team, so it feels weird to claim that title on my own,” Oleksiak told Swimming Canada of her success. ”I feel really lucky to be part of Team Canada.”
WATCH | Oleksiak sets Canadian record for most medals at aquatics worlds:
Three years ago, Sydney Pickrem, Masse, Mac Neil and Oleksiak posted a time of 3:53.58 in Gwangju, South Korea.
Saturday’s relay bronze was the national record-extending 11th medal — three gold, four silver, four bronze — for Canada at these worlds after it surpassed the mark of eight at a single world championships from 2019 on Friday.
McIntosh only led Grimes by 9-100ths of a second through 50 metres but was 62-100ths ahead midway through the backstroke leg and under world-record pace through 200 metres, in front by 1.33 seconds.
WATCH | McIntosh captures gold in 400m IM:
3 top-10 finishes in Olympic debut
Hosszu gained ground in the breaststroke and moved into third spot at the 250-metre mark, with McIntosh holding a 2.15-second advantage over Grimes. But Weyant overtook Hosszu for bronze position through 300 metres and stayed there while Grimes closed to within 98-100ths of McIntosh with 50 metres remaining.
“It’s surreal” <br><br>Summer McIntosh continues the legacy of her mom, Jill, in the 200m butterfly at <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/FINABudapest2022?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#FINABudapest2022</a> <a href=”https://t.co/V56I5WGqAn”>https://t.co/V56I5WGqAn</a> <a href=”https://t.co/U3meUDIMkE”>pic.twitter.com/U3meUDIMkE</a>
Last summer, a 14-year-old McIntosh was the youngest member of the Canadian Olympic team in Tokyo but certainly didn’t show her age on the world’s grandest athletic stage.
WATCH | McIntosh swims to world silver in 400m freestyle:
She placed fourth in the 400 free, at that point lowering the Canadian record twice. She was ninth in the 200 free and 11th in the 800 free, setting a national age group record. McIntosh was also part of the 200 relay squad that finished fourth in national record time, while her opening-leg swim broke the Canadian age group record.
At national trials two months ago in Victoria, McIntosh turned heads by winning four events and swimming the 400 free in the third-fastest time this year.
WATCH | McIntosh wins world 200m butterfly semifinal in junior record time:
In the women’s medley relay, the Americans were favoured for gold while the Swedish foursome of Hanna Rosvall, Sophie Hansson, Louise Hansson and Sarah Sjoestroem were the fastest in qualifying in 3:56.77.
Masse, who fell short of the 200 backstroke podium on Friday in her bid for a third medal in Hungary, got the Canadians off to a quick start with the second-fastest reaction time at 0.54 and led Regan Smith of the U.S. for top spot through 50 metres and by 1-100th at the end of the leg.
Nichol took over in backstroke and fell off the pace, trailing the Americans 1.27 seconds. Mac Neil fell behind by 1.51 halfway through the butterfly and by 1.40 when anchor Penny Oleksiak entered the pool for the free.
Trademark finishing kick
Canada’s most decorated Olympian ever was unable to close the gap in the first half of her leg but managed to draw closer near the wall and finished 1.23 seconds off the winning time.
WATCH | Canada reaches podium in women’s medley relay:
Masse, who won gold in the 50 backstroke and silver in the 100 earlier this week, is tied for second with Ryan Cochrane with eight career medals.
“It’s always special to be part of a relay team,” said Masse, based at HPC-Ontario. “It’s nice to be doing it more than just yourself and that always pushes me.”
The American quartet of Lilly King, Torri Huske, Claire Curzan and Smith proved too strong for the rest of the field.
“We take a lot of pride in that relay and really wanted to put in a good time and get that gold back from last summer [ at the Olympics]. We came out and did that, and it was a great race,” said Curzan, who anchored the U.S. home.
On Friday, the 22-year-old Oleksiak provided her trademark finishing kick in the mixed 100 relay, overtaking Curzan to push Canada to a silver medal with a national record time of 3:20.61. All eight of her medals (two silver, six bronze) have come in the relay.
WATCH | Oleksiak anchors Canada to mixed relay silver medal:
Oleksiak was fourth in the women’s 100 freestyle on Thursday, reaching the finish an agonizing 6-100ths behind bronze medallist Huske. The Toronto native won gold in the event at the 2016 Rio Olympics and placed fourth last summer in Tokyo.
WATCH | Oleksiak narrowly misses bronze in 100m freestyle:
Mollie O’Callaghan won Thursday’s competition before anchoring the Australian medley relay team to silver two days later.
In the men’s 4×100 medley relay, Canada’s Javier Acevedo, James Dergousoff, Joshua Liendo and Ruslan Gaziev swam to 11th in the preliminaries in 3:35.62.
Liendo led all Canadian men this week with bronze in the 100 free and 100 fly and silver in the mixed 100 free relay.
WATCH | Liendo bursts to bronze in 100m butterfly:
American Ress awarded backstroke gold after review
Justin Ress of the United States won gold in the 50 backstroke in dramatic circumstances after officials overturned his initial disqualification following a lengthy review.
Victory was earlier awarded to compatriot Hunter Armstrong after it was ruled that no part of Ress’s body was above the water as he reached first for the wall.
Ress, who had set the pace in the heats and the semifinals, was later reinstated as the winner and the medal ceremony held again, with Armstrong taking silver and Polish teenager Ksawery Masiuk having to settle for bronze.
In other action:
- Gregorio Paltrinieri, gold medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, set a new championship record in the 1,500 freestyle, comfortably finishing ahead of Robert Finke and Florian Wellbrock in a time of 14:32.80. The Italian looked on course to break Sun Yang’s world record of 14:31.02 but faded in the last 100 metres.
- Earlier, former Olympic champion Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania clinched gold in the women’s 50 breaststroke, beating Italian Benedetta Pilato by 0.10 seconds, with Lara van Niekerk of South Africa coming home in third.
Meilutyte was handed a 24-month suspension in 2019 for anti-doping violations and returned to competitive action only in December last year.
Action in Budapest continues Sunday for live action beginning at 7 a.m. ET with the open water swimming team relay, followed by Canada vs. Netherlands in the women’s water polo crossover game at 8 ET.
The first diving final, men’s 3-metre springboard synchro, is scheduled for 10 a.m.
Coverage continues every day through July 3. Click on the link below for a full schedule of events.
Dufour nets four as Sea Dogs rally past Cataractes, advance to Memorial Cup final – TSN
SAINT JOHN, N.B. — The Shawinigan Cataractes scored 49 seconds into Saturday’s final round robin game at the Memorial Cup and enjoyed a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Then William Dufour of the Saint John Sea Dogs said “hold my (root) beer.”
Dufour, the 2020 fifth-round draft pick of the New York Islanders, rattled off three consecutive goals in the second period and added a fourth in the third as the tournament hosts scored five unanswered goals to defeat the Cataractes 5-3 to earn a berth in Wednesday’s Cup final.
The trip to the final erases a bit of the disappointment of the Sea Dogs’ first-round loss in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs.
The Cataractes, with two wins and a loss in the round robin, will have to beat the Hamilton Bulldogs in Monday’s semifinal game to get another shot at their QMJHL rival.
Jeremie Poirier scored Saint John’s other goal, while teammate Josh Lawrence added two assists. The Sea Dogs finished the round robin with two wins and an overtime loss.
Loris Rafanomezantsoa, Olivier Nadeau and William Veillette scored for Shawinigan, who outshot the Sea Dogs 15-10 in the first period but were outshot 21-5 in the second.
The six-foot-three Dufour, named MVP of the QMJHL this season, had 56 goals and 116 points during the QMJHL regular season.
“To finish my (junior) career like this is so great,” said the 20-year-old Dufour, calling the win one of his greatest moments in hockey. “We have one more game to win. We’re just going to go for it.”
POKE CHECKS: The Hamilton Bulldogs, who finished the round robin portion of the 102nd Memorial Cup championship with one regulation win for three points, lost to the Sea Dogs 5-4 on June 20, then dropped a 3-2 decision to the Cataractes on June 23, before beating the Edmonton Oil Kings 4-2 on Friday. The Oil Kings finished the tournament with one overtime win and two losses for two points and failed to make the playoffs. … Next year’s Memorial Cup will be held in Kamloops, B.C., home of the Western Hockey League Blazers who won the national tournament in 1992, 1994 and 1995.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 25, 2022
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