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Notes from WJHC camp: Connolly hurt in intra-squad game

Mark Masters

12/12/2011 12:14:23 AM

CALGARY – Forward Brett Connolly fell awkwardly into the boards during the third period of Sunday night's Red-White intra-squad game at Canada's world junior selection camp sustaining a lower-body injury.

"It doesn't look too serious," head coach Don Hay said moments after the game, won 3-2 by Team White, concluded. "We'll re-evaluate tomorrow." 

Connolly took to his Twitter account late on Sunday to update his condition.

"Everything is okay. Just a little banged up. Not serious at all," Connolly wrote.

Losing Connolly, recently loaned to the junior program by the Tampa Bay Lightning, would have been a big blow to Canada. He is one of four players at the camp, who was also on last year's silver-medal-winning squad.

Earlier in the day Connolly cramped up during practice. He said that was the result of not getting enough fluids in his system during the up-tempo workout. 

NOT SO FAST

Phil Di Giuseppe scored a goal and added an assist to lead Team White to the win. However he remains a longshot to make the team.

"I think he's got to have three really good days," Hay said. "That's important. I think he did good things today. He's got good speed. He went to the net, scored a real nice goal by driving the net, but he's got to do it consistently tomorrow and the next day."

"[Hay] said right away, 'Don't step up late,'" said Di Giuseppe. "He said, 'Come in, work your hardest,' and that's what I'm trying to do."

Di Giuseppe, one of four players entering their draft year at the camp, opened the scoring five minutes into the first period. The University of Michigan product drove hard to the net before beating Mark Visentin high on the short side. With just over eight minutes left in the third period, Christian Thomas banged home a rebound off a Di Giuseppe shot to give Team White a 3-2 lead, which they would not relinquish.

CATCHING THEIR BREATH

Hay has cancelled a pair of practices originally scheduled for Monday morning in order to give some of his players more rest. Most of the 42 players at the camp also played on Friday night before flying to Calgary on Saturday.

The break will give a couple banged-up players more time to heal before Monday night's intra-squad game. Jonathan Huberdeau is still recovering from a broken foot and has not skated since Nov. 7. Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Brad Ross was a late scratch on Sunday with a lower-body injury.

The first round of cuts are expected on Tuesday morning.