Host Canada released seven players Thursday and named its three goaltenders for the coming world junior men’s hockey championship.
The departure of goalie Brett Brochu and Tristan Lennox leaves Dylan Garland, Taylor Gauthier and Devon Levi as Canada’s three goaltenders.
The three will now compete to be Canada’s starter in men’s under-20 tournament.
“Those are the three guys we’re most comfy with,” head coach André Tourigny said Thursday on a media conference call.
“They all bring something a little bit different in their style. Gauthier has a lot of athleticism. He’s a big goalie as well. Garand has really, really good hands. He’s really quick. He did a really good job and same thing for Levi.
“He’s really fast and a little bit bigger. Side to side, his legs are really quick.”
Hockey Canada also released five forwards to get the number of players at selection camp in Red Deer, Alta., down to 34.
Forwards Adam Beckman, Tyson Foerster, Hendrix Lapierre, Cole Schwindt and Shane Wright departed.
World junior rosters are 22 skaters and three goalies.
“We needed to cut the numbers,” Tourigny said. “It’s unfortunate, but we’re really happy with the players remaining at the camp.
“Already we cut players where we thought were really good at that camp, but just at some point we need to compare players and see who will be the fit for our team and who we see playing for us.”
Canada was to play a second intrasquad game in as many days Thursday.
“You could see at some points yesterday the cardio and the stamina of the players is something we need to keep working at,” the head coach said.
Canada’s 46 invited players quarantined for 14 days midway through camp because two players tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
Five were released for health reasons before the players returned to the ice Tuesday.
Canada and the other nine participating countries enter Edmonton’s “bubble” on Sunday to quarantine and be tested before the tournament starts Christmas Day.
The tournament is copying the NHL’s 2020 playoff model.
Games will be played without spectators and teams will be walled off from the public because of the pandemic.