CALGARY – Phillip Danault of the Victoriaville Tigres and Tyler Toffoli of the Ottawa 67's each scored a pair of goals for the Canadian junior men's hockey team in a 7-4 win over a squad of university players Tuesday.
The exhibition game was the last chance for players to impress head coach Don Hay, who will announce his Canadian team for the world junior hockey championship Wednesday morning.
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“I gave all I got at this camp and it was the last game so hopefully I will make the team,” Danault said.
Danault, a Chicago Blackhawks prospect, is 18 and could play for Canada next year. Toffoli, a 19-year-old Los Angeles Kings draft pick, would not be eligible again.
“Coming into today, I knew this was my last chance and coming in to the weekend I knew it was my last opportunity to play for Team Canada on the world junior stage,” Toffoli said.
Saint John Sea Dogs defenceman Nathan Beaulieu and Tanner Pearson of the Barrie Colts each had a goal and an assist for Canada. Michael Bournival of the Shawinigan Cataractes also scored.
Brad Ross of the Portland Winterhawks and Boone Jenner of the Oshawa Generals each contributed a pair of assists.
The four goaltenders invited to camp all played Tuesday.
Scott Wedgewood of the Plymouth Whalers and Louis Domingue of the Quebec Remparts went in net for the university team. Wedgewood allowed three goals on 21 shots in the first half of the game. Domingue gave up four on 28 shots in the second half.
Tyler Bunz of the Medicine Hat Tigers and Mark Visentin of the Niagara IceDogs weren't as tested in Canada's net, facing a combined 19 shots.
Bunz had a rough start. He gave up goals on the second and third shots he faced, stopping four of just six overall. Visentin turned away 11 of 13 shots.
Seven players were released Tuesday and another 13 will leave Wednesday morning when the 22-player team is announced. The 2012 world junior hockey championship opens Boxing Day in Edmonton and Calgary.
The university squad scored three of four goals on the power play. Brock Nixon of the University of Calgary and Taylor Gal of the University of Lethbridge each scored twice.
There were questions about Canada's offence after two low-scoring intra-squad games. The players generated more scoring chances and drove the net with more authority Tuesday.
“They scored three power-play goals and we didn't do a very good job killing penalties,” Hay said. “I thought we generated offence and shots on goal and that was important.”
With 35 players still in camp, 11 were scratched for the exhibition game. Defencemen Brandon Gormley, Dougie Hamilton and Ryan Murray and forwards Brendan Gallagher, Freddie Hamilton, Mark Scheifele, Jaden Schwartz, Devante Smith-Pelly and Mark Stone did not play.
Injured forwards Jonathan Huberdeau (foot) and Quinton Howden (upper-body) remained out of the lineup. Hay has to make a decision on whether those two key players will be healthy enough to play in the tournament.
Hockey Canada's policy is to not to name alternates to the junior team. Hay said he plans to name 22 players and no more than that Wednesday.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)
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