Story, video & image: Ryan Graham
The General Motors Centre will be doing more than just hosting Oshawa Generals games and other festive events this Christmas season. The best young Canadian junior hockey players will be showing off their skills against Team Switzerland in an exhibition game on December 20 as part of a prelim to the 2011 World Junior Hockey Championships.
Even though the Generals won’t be participating in the tournament, they have one key member of their team who will be participating. All-star defenseman Calvin de haan will be making his second straight appearance in the World Juniors as he played in last year’s tournament in Saskatoon where Canada earned a silver medal. de haan will look to have a key role with the team this year as he has a year of experience under his belt.
The exhibition game in Oshawa will be the first of three games that the team will play. Canada faces off against Sweden in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre on Dec. 21 and against Finland on Dec. 23 in Kitchener.
The team is looking to rebound from last year’s loss in heartbreaking overtime, when they fell 6-5 to their rivals, the United States. Canada this year will not have the same type of star power of the likes of Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, John Tavares and Toronto Maple Leaf star Nazem Kadri due to the fact that they are all with their NHL teams.
Last year ended Team Canada’s five-year gold medal streak since 2005. This year’s tournament will be held in Buffalo, New York, with the Americans eager to defend their gold medal on home ice.