Canada’s national junior team reduced its roster by five players Wednesday, following a 4-1 exhibition loss to the University of Alberta Golden Bears.
Defencemen Derrick Pouliot (Portland Winterhawks) and Adam Pelech (Erie Otters), along with forwards Tyler Graovac (Ottawa 67’s), Sean Monahan (67’s) and Francis Beauvillier (Rimouski Océanic) were all returned to their junior teams, leaving 31 players in camp.
Canada will get down to the 23-man roster, which will include three goalies, by dropping eight more players after Thursday’s final exhibition game against the University of Calgary Dinos.
Against the University of Alberta, Canada kept a dozen of its top players on the sidelines, including Edmonton Oilers centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, so head coach Steve Spott could evaluate the bubble players – and overall, he didn’t like much of what he saw.
The discipline was lacking, and there wasn’t much finish around the net either.
All four goalies played – Malcolm Subban and Jordan Binnington for the juniors; Jake Paterson and Laurent Brossoit for the U of A. Subban had a slow start, giving up three goals on his first seven shots, before stopping the final 11 he faced. Paterson was the only goalie not to surrender a goal.
On a day when Spott couldn’t find a lot to get excited about, he did praise the play the two goalies that played for the university team, and noted the starting job in goal was still wide open.