It’s official: Jake Paterson will be the starting goalie when Canada faces Germany in the first game of the 2014 World Junior Hockey Championships.
This doesn’t come as a surprise to many, as Pateron’s strong play against Sweden and seemingly easy contest against Switzerland gave him the nod over Zach Fucale. It’s tough to say Fucale played terrible in a 3-2 win to Finland, but Paterson’s performance against the Tre Kronor likely sealed the deal.
“It’s really exciting,” Paterson told reporters after practice on Wednesday. “(Goalie coach) Fred Braithwaite came up and told me I was going in and then Brent came up after practice and said I was playing. It was really exciting to hear the news.”
Fucale, a puckstopper for the Halifax Mooseheads, will serve as back-up, but should get to play later in the tournament. Usually, Canada’s weak round robin game schedule means the team gets to skip the quarter-finals via a bye to the semi’s, however the IIHF removed that luxury. The potential of playing seven games instead of six could result in both goalies getting an equal amount of playing time.
Paterson was the third goalie for Team Canada last year in Ufa, Russia, but never got to see the ice.
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