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Visentin to start as Canada opens WJHC against Finland today

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TSN.ca Staff
6/11/2012 10:05:30 PM
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The road to World Junior Hockey Championship gold kicks off today in Edmonton as the host Canadian squad opens their four-game pool schedule against Finland.

You can watch the game live on TSN, TSN.ca, and TSN Mobile TV, today at 3pm et/noon pt. You can also join our live blog and chat with your fellow fans during the game. 

Canada is looking to bounce back after a disappointing loss in last year's gold medal game in Buffalo, where they watched a 3-0 lead after two periods evaporate into a 5-3 loss to the Russians.

There are four returning players from that squad this time around. Mark Visentin will be the starting goaltender, while forwards Brett Connolly, Quinton Howden and Jaden Schwartz look to anchor the forward unit. 

Three players with NHL games under their belt will help to bolster the squad.  Brett Connolly was loaned to the team by the Tampa Bay Lightning, while Devante Smith-Pelley was released by the Anaheim Ducks.   Mark Scheifele, who was selected seventh overall by the Winnipeg Jets in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, also appeared in seven NHL games.

Canada met Finland last week in a pre-tournament exhibition game and won the contest 3-1. 

Boone Jenner, Mark Stone and Brandon Gallagher scored for Canada, while Visentin made 22 saves.

Canada beat Switzerland 7-1 in Red Deer on Thursday, but fell 5-3 to Sweden in the final tune-up game on Friday in Edmonton. 

Finland, who won gold at the World Juniors for the first and only time in 1998, will be led by the Granlund brothers.  Mikael was taken ninth overall in the 2010 Entry Draft by the Minnesota Wild, and Markus was selected in the second-round of the 2011 Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames.

Canada, Finland, the United States, the Czech Republic and Denmark play Pool B games in Edmonton. 

Pool A games involving defending champion Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Latvia and Slovakia will be in Calgary.

All of Team Canada's tournament games will be available live online at TSN.ca, while every game will be available on-demand. 

Mark Visentin (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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