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Poor ice conditions delaying Canada/Finland game on TSN

TSN.ca Staff
12/20/2013 11:04:34 AM
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Canada's world junior team takes to the ice this morning for the first of three pre-competition games when they take on Finland.

The game is currently delayed due to poor ice conditions. The teams are targeting an 11am et/8am pt puck drop. When the action resumes, you can catch it live on TSN and get in-game video highlights on TSN.ca and TSN Mobile.

Halifax Mooseheads goaltender Zac Fucale, a 2013 draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens, gets the call in net for Canada with Saginaw Spirit netminder Jake Paterson, who was on last year's team, backing him up.

Team Canada coach Brent Sutter still needs to cut three players from his 25-man roster (two defencemen and a forward), and these three exhibition games could prove critical as to which bubble players make it past the final cut. Injuries, of course, will also play a factor into Sutter's decision.

"They're not easy decisions, but the reality is we've got a couple-or-three guys banged up and we're not exactly sure," said Sutter earlier this week.

While Mooseheads star and Canadian alternate captain Jonathan Drouin has practiced with the team, he's not expected to play in Friday's matchup. Drouin was concussed in a game on Dec. 6 against the Quebec Remparts when he was hit from behind into the boards by Adam Erne.

The Finns will provide a stiff test for captain Scott Laughton and the rest of Team Canada.

The Finnish camp features six returning players from last year's tournament, as well as 10 players already selected in the NHL Draft, including a pair of Nashville Predators goaltending prospects in Janne Juvonen and Juuse Saros, both taken in this past June's draft.

Just as Canada is lacking four of its five eligible players from the NHL (Minnesota Wild defenceman Mathew Dumba being the only of the quintet at the selection camp) the Finns are missing their two qualified players in Florida Panthers forward Alexsander Barkov and defenceman Olli Maatta of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The player to watch on Finland might just be the son of a former NHL All-Star.

Kasperi Kapanen, son of Sami Kapanen, is currently the top-ranked European skater for the 2014 NHL Draft. The KalPa forward is a highly regarded goal scorer with good hockey sense.

After Friday's matchup, Canada next does battle with Sweden on Sunday before finishing up the exhibition schedule with a Monday game against Switzerland.

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