Cizikas nets winner in final intrasquad game at junior camp

The Canadian Press

12/13/2010 10:53:41 PM

TORONTO -- Who said this year's Canadian junior team can't score goals?

Six goals were scored in under seven minutes of a wild third period as Casey Cizikas got the game-winner and Linden Veh added the empty-net tally in Team White's 7-5 victory over Team Red in an intrasquad game Monday night at the selection camp for Canada's world junior championship team.

There has been concern that the squad lacks the firepower of recent Canadian teams, but it didn't look that way on this night.

"Everyone says we don't have much offence but it shows that even if we don't have the John Tavares and the Taylor Halls, we have people who can put the puck in the net," said Red team forward Zack Kassian. "They're making cuts (Tuesday) so everyone wanted to give it that extra oomph.

"Everyone played hard and we're leaving a hard decision for the coaches."

Cody Eakin and Jared Cowen also scored in the third for White, which had earlier scores from Kassian, Ryan Johansen and Brendan Gallagher.

Jaden Schwartz and Curtis Hamilton scored in the first frame while Ryan Howse, Rielly Smith and Carter Ashton had goals in the third for Red, which outshot White 34-28.

It was a second intrasquad game in as many nights, after Red's 4-1 win on Sunday, and jittery play was replaced by more determined, desperate hockey in the last chance for some to show the coaches what they can do.

The first cuts are to be announced Tuesday morning, with the full 22-man roster named on Wednesday.

"It's never an easy thing waiting on a call to see if you made the cut, but if you worked hard, you can go home and even if you get cut, you know you left it all out there," added Kassian.

The stocky Schwartz, a solid performer in both games, got his second goal in as many games only 55 seconds in and Hamilton put Red up 2-0 when he beat J.P. Anderson with a 10-foot wrist shot on a feed from Riley Sheahan at 5:10.

Johansen went to the net to tip Ryan Murphy's point shot in on a power play at 18:46 and White took the lead as Kassian scored 51 seconds into the second and Gallagher finished a two-on-one by beating Olivier Roy with a high shot at 9:57.

Both teams then changed goalies. Roy stopped 12 of 15 shots, while Mark Visentin saved nine of 12 for Red. Anderson stopped 10 of 12 and Calvin Pickard saved 19 of 22 on a tough night for all the goaltenders.

"It was one of those full moon nights for the goaltenders, with pucks bouncing off and going in and stuff like that," said coach Dave Cameron.

Most of the lines were shuffled from the first game, except for a strong forechecking line of Sheahan between Hamilton and Marcus Foligno for Red and Sean Couturier with Michael Bournival and Kassian for White.

Defence duos were also changed, including one of six-foot-five Cowen and six-foot-four Erik Gudbranson that Cameron hopes will become his shut down pair.

"Two guys as big as we are, it takes up a lot of space with our sticks and bodies so, if that happens, I think it will be great for us," said Cowen, one of four returning players from last year's team who are almost certain to be kept, along with Ryan Ellis, Calvin de Haan and Brayden Schenn.

Cizikas played through a back problem that flared up when he took a hard hit in the first intrasquad game and was strong enough to post a goal and an assist.

"I don't think there'll be much sleep," he said. "I didn't have a great game the first night but I thought I played better. I had to prove I could deal with pain."