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nators acquired Ben Bishop from the St. Louis Blues for one reason and one reason alo
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MALMO, SWEDEN – Canada has been searching for its identity at the World Junior Hockey Championship and they may have found it: underdogs. Nike Free Shoes Online Shopping . Consensus among Canadian players is that they enter Tuesdays first-place showdown with the Americans as the clear underdogs following a shootout loss to the Czech Republic on Saturday and a white-knuckle, come-from-behind win against Slovakia on Monday. "Its probably one of this first times were the underdogs in this and theyre really good," said defenceman Mathew Dumba, loaned to Team Canada by the Minnesota Wild. "Theyre a great team and weve got to be ready for them." "Oh for sure, I think were definitely the underdogs," agreed forward Bo Horvat. "Theyve been playing well all tournament and won all of their games so far. It should be a good test." "I think, maybe, were a little bit of the underdogs," said Jonathan Drouin, Canadas top-line centre. "They won last year, theyre 3-0 so we have to get off to a good start and play our own game and not watch them play.” The message from Canadian players was remarkably consistent. You almost got the sense they were happy to enter the New Years Eve clash considered the weaker team and Nic Petan, who scored the winner in Mondays 5-3 victory over Slovakia, admitted as much. "Yeah, definitely, it makes us work harder," he said. Canada as an underdog in hockey? A rare occurrence, especially at the World Juniors, but considering the sky-high expectations facing these teenagers, who can really blame them for trying to shift the pressure to the Americans? Only 16-year-old Connor McDavid, Canadas youngest player, balked at the idea that his group was an underdog. "I dont know," the Erie Otters sensation said. "I think a lot of people are viewing us the underdogs. Im not necessarily sure thats how we feel. Were confident in our abilities." The defending champion Americans tried to brand themselves as underdogs entering the event. Head coach Don Lucia noted theyd need big-time goaltending from Jon Gillies every night and would rely on a grind-it-out style to win some close, low-scoring games. Of course, the United States promptly cruised through the first three games of the tournament outscoring the Germans, Czechs and Slovaks 19-4. "Were not a star-studded team," insists Lucia. "I think the bottom line is our guys understand what our identity is and keep with that identity." That blue-collar identity that values hard work as much as skill is the same one Canadian head coach Brent Sutter has sought to install with his group. But the Americans, who have had 12 different players score, seem to have had an easier time adapting to the brand. "Anybody who asks about this team I tell them I dont think we really have any superstars," said forward Adam Erne. "Were a group that works really hard and really wants to win and I think thats what it takes in this tournament: different guys every game." DROUIN FACES ERNE FOR FIRST TIME SINCE CONCUSSION Erne is at the heart of this years rivalry game, because of what happened earlier this month in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Erne, who plays for the Quebec Remparts, leveled Halifaxs Drouin with a hit from behind. Drouin sustained the first concussion of his career on the play. Afterwards, Erne suggested the third overall pick in last Junes NHL draft may have made matters worse by trying to draw a penalty on the play and embellishing what happened. "It happened so long ago. Its not a big deal right now. Im not focused on that. Im focused on the upcoming game," said Erne, who reached out to Drouin after the game via text. "Everybody knows that hes a good player and we were drafted by the same team [Tampa Bay] so were going to have to get along so thats just how its going to have to be. Its in the past. It happened. Its hockey so lets move on from there." Erne wasnt suspended for the hit and Drouin refused to comment on that decision. But the 18-year-old said winning on Tuesday would be the best revenge. "Yeah, for sure," Drouin said, "I dont think Im going to go for a cheap-shot on Adam. Its not the Q here. We have to win and its going to be a team game." MCDAVID vs. EICHEL IN 2015 NHL DRAFT PREVIEW Erne against Drouin is not the only juicy subplot in the Canada-USA rivalry these days. Tuesdays game will also feature two of hockeys brightest young stars going head-to-head, specifically: McDavid against American Jack Eichel. Both are expected to go very high in the 2015 NHL draft with the Canadian considered the odds-on favourite to go No. 1. "Yeah, you know, its nice to play against him, but I dont really think about playing against him," said Eichel, a Boston University recruit. "Its not a one-on-one battle were going to be playing in. Its a team game where the United States is going to be playing Team Canada. Im not going to be playing Connor." McDavid echoed that sentiment. "Its not really about me and him. Its about Canada versus the Americans. Thats it. I know hes on the team. Hes a big part of their team. Hes a good player and hell be a big part of the game." McDavid has struggled to make his mark on the tournament. He was benched after taking two penalties against the Czech Republic and started the next game against Slovakia as Canadas 13th forward before earning more ice time in the third period. Eichel, meanwhile, has been a solid presence in the American top-six forward group notching a goal and three assists. "I couldnt believe how young he actually is," said Team USA captain Riley Barber. "Hes a big player, strong and doesnt really look his age." "His all-around game is quick, so fast," said line-mate Ryan Hartman. "Ive been lucky enough to be playing with him the last couple games now. He knows where he is out on the ice and where all the players are at." Gillies, Barber and Hartman are the three returning players on the American roster. Drouin, defenceman Griffin Reinhart and goalie Jake Paterson are the veterans on the Canadian side. Paterson will be Zach Fucales backup on Tuesday while Reinhart will make his 2014 tournament debut after missing the first three games with a suspension. RIVALRY IS SOMETHING SPECIAL Last years semifinal showdown remains very much on the minds of the players. "Its a motivation," said Drouin. "We lost 5-1. It was a hard loss for me. This year, I want to battle back and make sure I dont lose again against the Americans." "It was one of the worst feelings Ive had in hockey for sure," admitted Reinhart. "Whether they played in it or not everyone on both teams was watching," said Hartman. "Everyones going to be riled up and ready to go." Indeed, Canada versus the United States is always an emotional encounter. When you add in all the subplots listed above and the fact the game will decide who wins Group A, well, its easy to get pumped up. "Its something special," said Erne with a smile. "I mean, Ive been watching since I can remember so its going to be a real honour to play in it and Im real excited." "Ive played in a few U.S.-Canada games and theyre always intense," said Eichel. "I know our teams looking forward to it and I imagine they are as well." "Its unbelievable," said McDavid, "especially this New Years Eve game. It has been quite a tradition for the past couple years and I usually never missed watching so it will be a lot of fun for sure." "I expect a lot of compete out of them," said Barber, whos tied for the team lead with three goals. "It should be a really, really fun game to watch." Nike Free Shoes On Sale . 1. Did the Senators trade the wrong goalie? Lets make one thing clear: The Ottawa Senators acquired Ben Bishop from the St. Louis Blues for one reason and one reason alone. Nike Free Shoes Clearance . Rockies manager Walt Weiss was unhappy, too. Weiss addressed the issue in a 15-minute meeting with his pitcher and catcher after the Rockies gave up 14 hits and lost 10-1. De La Rosa lasted only 4 1-3 innings and allowed five runs in his first opening-day start. http://www.nikefreeireland.com/ . Mickelson shot a 2-under 70 after opening with a 77 -- his worst score of the season -- on TPC San Antonios AT&T Oaks Course. Lefty was 11 strokes behind leader Steven Bowditch, the Australian who had a 67 to reach 8-under 136.NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Toronto Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion was named American League player of the month Tuesday while Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers took the National League honour. Encarnacion belted a club record 16 home runs last month and batted .281 with five doubles, one triple and 33 RBIs. He scored 26 runs and walked 16 times over 30 games to claim the honour for the first time. Encarnacion had five multi-homer games in May. Nike Free Clearance Ireland. He was just shy of Carlos Delgados club record of 34 RBIs in a month set in June 2003. Others receiving votes included Miguel Cabrera (.380, 8 HR, 34 RBI), Detroit teammate Victor Martinez (.372, 9 HR, 21 RBI) and Baltimores Nelson Cruz (.339, 13 HR, 27 RBI). Jose Bautista was the last Toronto player to win the award. He took the honour in June 2012. China NFL Jerseys Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Online Stitched Hockey Jerseys Wholesale Baseball Jerseys Football Jerseys Outlet College Jerseys For Sale Cheap MLB Jerseys Wholesale Soccer Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys For Sale Wholesale NFL Jerseys ' ' '
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