Speed, speed and more speed.
That is what Tim Hunter is hoping to see from the Canadian junior team that held its first workout Tuesday night in advance of this year’s World Juniors which are going in Vancouver and Victoria starting on Boxing Day.
The Moose Jaw Warriors head coach is no stranger to this event having been an assistant on the team that won gold last year in Buffalo. He says it really is no different when it comes to pressure.
“I don’t look at it as pressure and either does Hockey Canada, we look at it as a challenge. I think pressure is a negative term. ” Hunter said before leaving for the team’s camp in Colwood, BC. ” As coaches and hockey players, you strive for these challenges and moments. Most of the kids here dreamed of playing on Boxing Day with a Canadian jersey on. To be the coach of this team is a real honour and a thrill. Being able to put this team together with my own fingerprints is something I look forward to. I have had success in Moose Jaw in putting a team together and I hope to have the same success in building this team.
While a gold medal for Canada is no longer a certainty at this tournament, it is something Canadian hockey fans expect. Hunter can’t say at this time if the tournament will end with a gold medal being placed around his neck, but if he does he says it will rank right up there for hockey moments as was the Stanley Cup he won as a member of the Calgary Flames.
“It would be right up there for sure.” Hunter confessed. “A lot of guys get their World Junior gold first and then try to get a Stanley Cup, I’m just doing it the other way around.”
Canada will play some exhibition games against a team consisting of USports all-stars before having tune-up games against Switzerland on December 19, Slovakia on the 21st and Finland on the 23rd.
That will lead them into their first game of the event at Rogers Place in Vancouver on December 26.
All Canadian games at the World Juniors will be on TSN.