Hart takes lead in goaltending battle as Canadian juniors beat university all-stars

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BOISBRIAND, QUE.—A team of Canadian university all-stars pushed the national junior team to its limits Monday in the first taste of competition for the teenagers who hope to represent this country at the world under-20 championship later this month.It took a second goal by Sam Steel of the Regina Pats — the only goal of the third period — to give the junior team the insurance it needed in a 5-3 win over their bigger, older university-aged rivals.“He showed his skills, he showed he can finish,” junior coach Dominique Ducharme said of Steel. “A nice shot on his first one, and the second one was up close in the tight areas.”Dylan Strome, Taylor Raddysh and Mitchell Stephens also scored for the junior squad, now 12-5 all time against various university teams in these tune-ups going back to 2003.“We’re looking at what guys can do,” Ducharme said. “This is our starting point. We’re picking players, we’re evaluating guys, and we want to be raising our game. We have things to work on.”Article Continued BelowAll three goalies got into the action, with Carter Hart of the Everett Silvertips solidifying his position as the favourite. Hart posted a shutout in his 30 minutes in the junior team’s net as Canada built a 4-0 lead.Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack struggled in relief over the final half of the game, surrendering three goals on the first six shots he faced. Nathan Chiarlitti (McGill), Philippe Maillet (University of New Brunswick) and Brett Welychka (Carleton) scored on McNiven.Connor Ingram of the Kamloops Blazers played the full 60 minutes for the university all-stars, surrendering all five goals.“You don’t want to give up five on any night, but I didn’t feel like any of them were bad,” Ingram said. “I’m glad I got play a full game.”McNiven will play for the university team in the rematch Tuesday, Ingram and Hart will play for Canada. With 31 players in camp, nine were not dressed for Monday’s game. Those nine will play in Tuesday’s finale at the Centre d’Excellence Sports Rousseau.“We want to see everyone,” Ducharme said. “We want everyone to be involved right away.”

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