Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hay Looking Forward To World Jr Camp

World Junior hopeful's are on their way to Calgary in the coming days for Canada's selection camp which starts on the weekend.

We had a chance last week to sit down with Vancouver Giants head coach Don Hay, who is the man in charge on Canada's bench this year

"I want to be a team that's good at both end's of the rink on both sides of the puck. I'm looking for guys with hockey sense because it's a quick tournament, you don't have time to be patient with players and to do a lot of teaching, you need them to pick up different concepts as quick as possible."

"There's an old saying with team Canada, we don't pick the best 22 players, we pick the 22 players that our going to make the best team," said Hay. "That's our goal, to try and find players that can fill certain holes within the lineup and then use them to best of their ability and the best of our ability."

Hay is a three time Memorial Cup championship coach, he guided Canada to a 7-0 record and a gold medal at the 1995 World Juniors, and says this is an opportunity of a lifetime for the players.

"They all have been watching it since they've grown up. They've all grown up with the tradition of Hockey Canada and team Canada playing at Christmas time," said Hay.

"It's been a big dream of their's and all Canadian kids to play in that group of 22 players and stand on that blueline and sing the anthem. That's a pretty breathtaking experience when you get the opportunity to do it."

Hockey Canada extended 41 invitations to players from across the country last week, among them is Moose Jaw Warrior Quinton Howden.

Howden is one of three returning players from last year's team that suffered a heartbreaking loss to Russia in the gold medal game. Hay says Howden has the tools to play a big role on this year's team.

"With his confidence and with his style, his a big man that can skate. There's all kind of things I like about Quinton, the test is to be able to do that, whether he's a top two line player or bottom two line player."

"He's got to be able to fit into the role we want. His skating ability, his confidence, and his experience is really going to help him," added Hay on Howden.

Players will report to camp on Saturday and then practice later in the evening. They'll have intrasquad games on the 11th and 12th, on the 13th they'll play a team featuring area CIS All Stars, the roster announcement is expected on the morning of the 14th.

Canada opens the World Junior Hockey Championships in Alberta on Boxing Day, Country 100 will once again be your source for the tournament as we'll broadcast all of Canada's game on their journey back to the gold medal.

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