(FREDERICTON, NB) Varsity Reds defenceman Jordan Murray was keeping a secret last week.
He’d been informed he’d been selected to represent UNB and Atlantic University Sport in an upcoming exhibition series, but he couldn’t tell anyone.
But now, the word is out.
Murray is one of six AUS standouts chosen to be part of team of Canadian Interuniversity Sport players that will face national junior team hopefuls in a two game exhibition series.
“It’s definitely an honour,” said Murray, from Riverview, NB.
The third-year defenceman will be the only Varsity Red on a team that will feature five other AUS players, six from the Canada West conference and eleven from the OUA.
They’ll play games against players invited by Hockey Canada to the national junior team selection camp. Those games take place in Toronto, on December 12th and 13th.
“I’ve worked hard to try to get here. Now, I just have to go there and play well and represent UNB.”
Murray has played in 14 of UNB’s 15 games so far this season. He’s scored three goals and recorded eight assists. He leads the team in shots on goal, with 50.
As for why he thinks he was chosen, Murray said, “I think I’ve had two good years so far and I’m trying to have a good year this year and, I guess, I have respect around the league from teams and coaches.”
The CIS team will be coached by Shawn Camp, from the University of Guelph. “We’re very pleased with the makeup of this team,” said Camp, who will be assisted by Acadia’s Darren Burns, among others. “In order to compete with the national junior team we need to have players who have speed, skill and mobility, and we certainly have that when you look at the individuals on this roster. We know these guys will compete hard and play with composure.”
The national junior team will compete at the World Junior Hockey Championship, in Finland, beginning December 26th. For many Canadians, watching the games is a seasonal tradition. That’s a fact not lost on Murray. “I think I’ve watched every year, growing up, since I can remember, that’s for sure.”
Murray knows he’ll be facing quality competition, but is confident in his abilities. “Obviously, those guys will be good players, but I played against guys like that in junior, when I was in junior myself, so it shouldn’t be too bad.”