McDonald set for world junior camp

Jason Malloy
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Mason McDonald is ready to go.

The Charlottetown Islanders goalie leaves this morning from Halifax for Canada’s world junior hockey team selection camp in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke, Ont.

“It’s pretty exciting. I can’t wait to get there,” he said Wednesday. “I can’t believe it’s starting tomorrow.”

Canada is the defending champs and there is always a lot of pressure when teenagers pull on the Maple Leaf for the tournament.

“They’re going to have high expectations for us,” McDonald said. “I’m going to have fun and do my best.”

He spent the last few days working with his goalie coach in Halifax and was on the way to the gym Wednesday night when contacted by The Guardian.

The 19-year-old Haligonian knows most of the 31 players attending this week’s camp from his time with national under-18 teams and a summer evaluation camp.

McDonald is one of three goalies looking to make the team after Hockey Canada added Blainville-Boisbriand goalie Samuel Montembeault on Tuesday. The addition came after the Ontario Hockey League suspended Barrie’s Mackenzie Blackwood eight games for a stick incident in a game on Friday.

Blackwood, if he makes the team, would have to sit out Canada’s first two games at the world tournament due to the suspension, but is eligible to play in pre-tournament contests.

Canada will play exhibition games against a Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) all-star team on Saturday and Sunday. Twenty-two players will be selected to play at the tournament in Helsinki, Finland from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.

Canada opens the tournament on Boxing Day against the United States at 2 p.m. Atlantic.

Organizations: Ontario Hockey League

Geographic location: Canada, Halifax, Toronto Etobicoke Maple Leaf Helsinki Finland United States

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