Sens share junior connection
’Tis the season, after all, for the IIHF world junior hockey championship. And there’s no shortage of players in the Ottawa Senators dressing room with a very personal connection to the global event that captivates Canadians at this time each year.
Some 10 Senators players have worn their country’s colours at the WJC – seven of them the red maple leaf of Canada. Almost every one of them has a medal to show for the experience, with a half dozen Sens earning gold at the under-20 affair.
Defencemen Wade Redden and Chris Phillips shared a golden moment together at the 1996 tournament in Boston. Redden also was a winner the year before in Red Deer, Alta., on a team that included current Senators forward Shean Donovan.
Phillips, meanwhile, went on to earn a second gold of his own at the 1997 WJC in Geneva, Switzerland – the fifth straight year Canada’s juniors topped the tourney. That streak of success began in 1993 in Gavle, Sweden, with a Canadian squad that included Senators winger Dean McAmmond.
“Winning that gold medal was special,” McAmmond wrote in a blog post about his world junior experience for OttawaSenators.com. “They went on to win five golds in a row, and we were the team to start that.”
Forward Patrick Eaves also owns a world junior gold medal, but for the United States. He was a part of the American team that edged Canada 4-3 in the 2004 WJC final in Helsinki, bringing the U.S. its first-ever gold in this tournament.
Senators defenceman Anton Volchenkov was a heart-breaker for Canadians back in the 2002 WJC in Pardubice, Czech Republic – the same city in which the current tournament is being played. Volchenkov’s third-period goal allowed Russia to edge Canada 5-4 in the gold-medal game.
That 2002 Canadian team included Senators centre Jason Spezza, who owns the largest collection of WJC medals in the Ottawa dressing room – he also took home bronze medals in 2000 and 2001. Forward Dany Heatley, Spezza’s current linemate in Ottawa, was also a part of the latter two teams.
Sens defencemen Luke Richardson (Canada, 1987) and Andrej Meszaros (Slovakia, 2004, 2005) have previous world junior experience on their hockey resumes as well.
Countdown is on to Ottawa 2009 world junior hockey championship
|Senators and Scotiabank Place COO Cyril Leeder, Ottawa West-Nepean MPP Jim Watson and Richard Waldorf, president of the Ottawa District Hockey Association, join a group of youngsters in lauching the countdown clock at Scotiabank Place for the 2009 IIHF world junior hockey championship (Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photography/OSHC).|
The clock will hang in the main lobby entrance of Scotiabank Place, and will give fans in Hockey Country a one-year countdown to the 2009 WJC, which launches with four games in Ottawa on Dec. 26, 2008. The tournament runs through Jan. 5, 2009.
Leeder and Watson were joined by 10 players, representing each of the participating countries, from the Belleville Bulls major atom and novice teams, along with Ottawa District Hockey Association president Richard Waldorf.
More than 300,000 tickets have already been sold for the tournament. Ticket packages can be obtained at www.CapitalTickets.ca, at the Senators box office or by calling 613-599-FANS (3267) or 1-877-788-FANS (3267).
Team Canada improves to 2-0 at 2008 WJC
With a second straight shutout, Canada moved to 2-0 at the 2008 world junior championship currently being played in the Czech Republic.
Thursday in Pardubice, a pair of power-play goals by Kyle Turris allowed Canada to blank Slovakia 2-0. Goaltender Steve Mason stopped 22 shots for the shutout.
Jonathan Bernier earlier blanked the host Czechs 3-0 in Canada's opener on Wednesday.
Canada continues preliminary round play Saturday against Sweden (2 p.m., TSN) before facing Denmark on Monday.
Read more about Thursday's win here.