Canada's world junior team cut seven players from its selection camp in Calgary on Tuesday morning to bring its roster down to 35.
The cuts included 17-year old Red Deer defenceman Mathew Dumba, Rimouski blueliner Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, Brenden Kichton of the Spokane Chiefs, Mark McNeill of the Prince Albert Raiders, Brandon forward Michael Ferland, Saint John Sea Dogs forward Zack Phillips, and Kootenay forward Max Reinhart.
Dumba, 17, is a highly-touted blueliner who is expected to be taken high in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The Calgary native was disappointed to receive the news despite being the youngest player in camp.
"It doesn't make it too much easier," Dumba told the Canadian Press. "I really wanted to make this team. I felt I was ready to maybe play as that seventh defenceman.
"It was real hard to wake myself up this morning and pack myself up. It's emotional, but I'll get through it. This experience is great."
Head coach Don Hay and Hockey Canada head scout Kevin Prendergast will make a final round of cuts on Wednesday morning to establish a final 22-man roster.
"Hopefully Canada can still go home and bring home the gold," said the 18-year-old McNeill. "There's still an opportunity next year for me for sure."
"I thought I had a good game the first game," explained Ferland. "I don't think I had that good of a game (on Monday) night. "It's a short camp. You've got to be ready to go from the start."
Four goalies, 11 defencemen and 20 forwards remain at camp. Team Canada's hopefuls have one final chance to audition on Tuesday night when they face a group of CIS All-Stars in Calgary.
No OHL players were cut today. Five from the WHL and two from the QMJHL were sent packing.