Team Canada final roster; owning Austria; Crosby positive over Penguins' fate
Patrick Wiercioch, shown here checking Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher in front of netminder Craig Anderson during Sunday's game in Ottawa, was invited to join Team Canada on the strength of his first-round performance. (Errol McGihon, Postmedia Network)
Sidney Crosby and Dan Hamhuis, you’ve heard of.
Patrick Wiercioch? Not so much.
But the 6-foot-5 defenceman out of Burnaby, B.C. made a name for himself in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs with the Ottawa Senators and was rewarded by Team Canada general manager Jim Nill with a trip to Prague and the IIHF World Championship as the seventh defenceman.
Pittsburgh’s Crosby and Vancouver’s Hamhuis were the other players added to the team from teams that had been eliminated from the playoffs.
Wiercioch, 24, finished tied for the Senators in playoff scoring with two goals and two assists after having just three goals and 10 assists during the season.
He was a second pairing defenceman paired with Cody Ceci.
Here’s a look at the Canada’s final roster for the tournament:
Martin Jones, Los Angeles Kings
Mike Smith, Arizona Coyotes
Tyson Barrie, Colorado Avalanche
Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks
Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers
Dan Hamhuis, Vancouver Canucks
Jake Muzzin, Los Angeles Kings
David Savard, Columbus Blue Jackets
Patrick Wiercioch, Ottawa Senators
Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche
Cody Eakin, Dallas Stars
Jordan Eberle, Edmonton Oilers
Tyler Ennis, Buffalo Sabres
Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers
Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
Ryan O’Reilly, Colorado Avalanche
Brayden Schenn, Philadelphia Flyers
Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars
Jason Spezza, Dallas Stars
Tyler Toffoli, Los Angeles Kings
LAST TIME WAS A TIE
Back in the tournament after being relegated after a one-win tournament in 2013 in Sweden, Austria plays Canada in an exhibition game here Wednesday prior to departing for Prague and the opener against Latvia Friday.
Canada has owned Austria at the IIHF World Hockey Champions, having not once managed to lose to the team that will play Canada in the final round robin game of the tournament in Prague May 12.
In 10 games, dating back to 1931, Canada has gone 9-0-1 versus the Austrians and out-scored them 58-6.
But the last time the two teams played each other in the tournament the only time the tournament was held in Canada, back in 2004 in Prague when the Austrians managed a 2-2 tie.
Canada ended up winning the gold.
Sometimes after an early exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs you want to stay at home, lock yourself in a room and beat yourself up.
Sidney Crosby had no desire to do that this year after the Pittsburgh Penguins were eliminated in five games by the New York Rangers.
“We were pretty depleted. We did a pretty good job considering the injuries we faced. We were in every game. We lost four games in that series 2-1 and obviously two in overtime could have gone either way,” said the Penguins captain when he arrived here Tuesday to join Team Canada.
“Whether it was our power play in a couple of games or not being able to solve Henrik Lundqvist late in a couple of games, that’s the playoffs. There’s really not much room for error. I really think we worked hard considering the circumstances. We made it tough on them and gave ourselves a chance to win if thing gad gone a different way.
“I’m not going to blame anyone. Flower was great,” he said of netminder Marc-Andre Fleury. “I thought everyone competed hard.”
Crosby, who had two goals and four points in the series, finished third in NHL scoring in the regular season with 84 points in 77 games – 28 goals and 56 assists.
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