Fucale to get first world juniors start for Canada against Slovakia - InfoNews

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Fucale to get first world juniors start for Canada against Slovakia

Canada goaltender Zachary Fucale keeps an eye on the action during team practice at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships in Malmo, Sweden on Sunday December 29, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Frank Gunn
December 29, 2013 - 7:42 AM

MALMO, Sweden - Zach Fucale will finally get his chance in goal for Canada at the world junior championship.

Coach Brent Sutter confirmed that the Halifax Mooseheads goalie will get the start when Canada faces Slovakia in its third group stage game on Monday.

"He's a very confident guy," Sutter said of Fucale. "He's a goalie that has great ability. He's won a Memorial Cup at a young age. He's one of two very good goalies here and he's going to get an opportunity."

Jake Anderson of the Saginaw Spirit started Canada's first two games — a 7-2 romp over Germany and a wild 5-4 shootout loss to the Czech Republic.

It appears Fucale may get additional starts if he has a strong game against Slovakia.

"We'll see how he plays and we'll determine that after the game," said Sutter. "I'm taking it game to game. I haven't said who's going to be our number one. We have a plan in place and we'll see how it unfolds."

The 18-year-old Fucale played one pre-tournament exhibition game against Finland and is anxious to make his first start in a game that counts.

"It hasn't been difficult at all," he said. "I just wanted to be supportive and stay ready all the time. I'll just get in the net and play the best I can. That's all I can really do."

Forward Charles Hudon, a fellow Montreal Canadiens prospect, was also in a buoyant mood at practice Sunday as he looks to have earned a regular spot on a line with Jonathan Drouin and Anthony Mantha.

Hudon got the tying goal in the third period that forced overtime and earned Canada an important point in the standings.

"I thought he was really good," Sutter said of Hudon. "He created a lot of stuff for us and he got a huge goal at a critical time. He's had a great attitude. He's stayed positive."

He had been sharing a position with 13th forward Taylor Leier, but Leier skated in practice as the extra man on the unit with Bo Horvat, Sam Reinhart and Conner McDavid.

The 16-year-old McDavid was benched in the third period after taking his second minor penalty, both of which led to Czech goals. Sutter put him out for Canada's last attempt in the shootout, but he couldn't get a shot away.

"You guys make a bigger deal of it than it is," Sutter told reporters. "He played 13 minutes. He didn't have the game he probably would like to have, but he's a very important part of this team."

McDavid said he's been benched before and knows he has to be better next game.

"It's the world stage," he said. "Everyone's looking at me as the 16-year-old and I know some people are saying after (Saturday) night that I'm too young for this, so I just want to come back and help the team and have a good performance."

Defenceman Griffin Reinhart will serve the last of a four-game suspended incurred from a slash at last year's world junior tournament. He will return for Canada's last group stage game Tuesday against the United States.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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