(OTTAWA, Ont.) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport announced Wednesday the Canadian men's hockey roster for the 2013 Winter Universiade in Trentino, Italy.
The 26th biennial Games will run from December 10 to 21, with the men's hockey gold-medal match set for the final day of competition.
An all-star team comprised entirely of players from the AUS conference will wear the maple leaf jersey on their chests in Trentino.
Since 1997, Canada has been represented at the Games in men's hockey by each of three CIS leagues on a rotating basis. Atlantic University Sport standouts have been successful in each of their two previous trips to the event, returning home with silver in 2001 (Zakopane, Poland) and gold in 2007 (Turin, Italy).
As announced in February of 2012, Gardiner MacDougall, head coach of the reigning CIS champion UNB Varsity Reds, will serve as Team Canada bench boss in Italy. He will be assisted by St. Francis Xavier's Brad Peddle and UPEI's Forbes MacPherson.
Rounding out the support staff are general manager Danny Lynch (UNB), video coach Todd Sparks (UNB), equipment manager Serge LeBlanc (Moncton) and therapist Joe Glenn (UNB).
The roster was finalized following an all-star game featuring top prospects held last Friday in Fredericton.
"Someone once told me that if you can find a special group of players who enjoy competing and working hard, who love to chase pucks and win races and who really care for one another, that you have the foundation for a successful hockey team, said MacDougall, who has led UNB to four CIS titles in the past seven years and who was an assistant to Saint Mary's Trevor Stienburg on the Universiade gold medal-winning team in 2007. "These are the key attributes that we found from our chosen players after our recent all-star game and training camp and we are excited about the journey ahead as we represent the AUS and CIS at the FISU Games."
The 23-man lineup includes three goaltenders, seven defencemen and 12 forwards, as well as one alternate.
In net, Jonathan Groenheyde of St. Thomas, Anthony Peters of Saint Mary's and Wayne Savage of UPEI will compete for the starting job.
On defence, the UPEI duo of Matthew Maione and Alex Wall is accompanied by StFX's Josh Day, UNB's Marc-Antoine Desnoyers, Saint Mary's Michael D'Orazio, Moncton's Simon Lacroix and Acadia's Christopher Owens.
The offensive unit is led by reigning CIS player of the year Lucas Bloodoff from Saint Mary's and also includes teammate Cory Tanaka from the Huskies, Tyler Carroll, Chris Culligan and Nick MacNeil from UNB, Mike Cazzola and Liam Heelis of Acadia, Michael Kirkpatrick and Rob Slaney of StFX, as well as UPEI's Chris Desousa, Moncton's Eric Faille and Dalhousie's Pierre Vandall.
Jason Bast, a forward from StFX, has been selected as an alternate in case of an injury.
Canada heads to Trentino as defending bronze medallist from the 2011 competition in Erzurum, Turkey, where players from the OUA conference defeated Kazakhstan 3-1 in the third-place match after falling 4-2 to two-time reigning champion Russia in the semifinals.
In 13 all-time appearances at the Universiade tourney, the Canucks have tallied an impressive 12 medals, including three gold, three silver and six bronze. In addition to the title won by AUS all-stars in 2007, the red and white was crowned in 1991 in Sapporo, Japan, while represented by the senior national squad, and in 1981 in Jaca, Spain, when the University of Alberta Golden Bears wore the maple leaf uniform.
Twelve teams will compete for FISU gold next month, including Canada, Japan Ukraine and Kazakhstan in Pool A, Russia, Great Britain, the Czech Republic and Slovakia in Pool B, as well as Italy, Latvia, Sweden and the United States in Pool C. The top two squads from each group and the top two third-place finishers advance to the quarter-finals.
In the preliminary round, the Canadians are set to face Japan on Dec. 10, Ukraine on Dec. 13 and Kazakhstan on Dec. 15, all at 8 p.m. local time (6 hours ahead of EST).
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/winter/2013/index Trentino 2013 website: http://www.universiadetrentino.org/
TEAM CANADA ROSTER
Jonathan Groenheyde, St. Thomas (2nd year – Surrey, B.C.) Anthony Peters, Saint Mary's (3rd year – Blyth, Ont.) Wayne Savage, UPEI (4th year – St. Thomas, Ont.)
Defencemen Josh Day, StFX (5th year – St. John's, N.L) Marc-Antoine Desnoyers, UNB (4th year – Saint-Hippolyte, Que.) Michael D'Orazio, Saint Mary's (3rd year – Richmond Hill, Ont.) Simon Lacroix, Moncton (4th year – Orleans, Ont.) Matthew Maione, UPEI (4th year – Unionville, Ont.) Christopher Owens, Acadia (4th year – St. John's, N.L.) Alex Wall, UPEI (3rd year – Mount Pearl, N.L.)
Forwards Lucas Bloodoff, Saint Mary's (4th year – Castlegar, B.C.) Tyler Carroll, UNB (3rd year – Strathroy, Ont.) Mike Cazzola, Acadia (2nd year – Guelph, Ont.) Chris Culligan, UNB (5th year – Howie Centre, N.S.) Chris Desousa, UPEI (3rd year – Mississauga, Ont.) Eric Faille, Moncton (4th year – Lachine, Que.) Liam Heelis, Acadia (3rd year – Georgetown, Ont.) Michael Kirkpatrick, StFX (3rd year – North Sydney, N.S.) Nick MacNeil, UNB (4th year – Creignish, N.S.) Rob Slaney, StFX (4th year – Portugal Cove, N.L.) Cory Tanaka, Saint Mary's (5th year – Stouffville, Ont.) Pierre Vandall, Dalhousie (4th year – Saint-Louis de France, Que.)
Alternate (forward) Jason Bast, StFX (4th year – Regina, Sask.)
STAFF General Manager: Danny Lynch (UNB) Head Coach: Gardiner MacDougall (UNB) Assistant Coach: Brad Peddle (StFX) Assistant Coach: Forbes MacPherson (UPEI) Video Coach: Todd Sparks (UNB) Equipment Manager: Serge LeBlanc (Moncton) Therapist: Joe Glenn (UNB)
TEAM CANADA TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE (all times local / 6 hours ahead of EST) Dec. 10 (20:00): Canada vs. Japan Dec. 13 (20:00): Canada vs. Ukraine Dec. 15 (20:00): Canada vs. Kazakhstan Dec. 18 (TBD): Quarter-finals Dec. 20 (TBD): Semifinals Dec. 21 (10:30): Bronze Dec. 21 (14:30): Final
About the Winter Universiade