André Tourigny knew that was the case, but the return to the ice on Tuesday confirmed to him that time is his worst enemy. He and his coaching staff will have to finalize their roster and cut 16 players by Friday.
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The two groups, the Reds and the Whites, trained twice each on Tuesday. They will skate again in all roles this morning before playing an intra-team game in the evening. Same game plan Thursday and Friday, ECJ plans to name the 25 players who will enter the Edmonton bubble from December 13.
If the position of some players is already acquired in the head of the leaders of the national team, several places are still at stake and the next two matches will decide the fate of several of them.
“There are still battles for positions and we are happy to have everyone on the ice. The selection will be difficult. […] The margin between the players is so thin that a good or a worse performance will change the situation, ”Tourigny mentioned late Tuesday afternoon.
THE PEDAL TO THE FLOOR
The current situation is not ideal, of course. The players will have to play two games in a row at high intensity after spending 14 days away from the rink, confined to their hotel rooms.
Aware that the risk of injury is very present, André Tourigny mentions that the importance of playing matches goes beyond the risk associated with it.
“We’re going to play the best tournament in the world. You have to play matches, you have to be intense. there is no switch which will make that on December 26, we will say “go, let’s go”. Every day, you have to go all out because you don’t have time to take our time. You have to see the urgency of the situation every day. If you take your tank, you might have an accident. Are you going to take it the same? Yes. It is part of the game. “
Expressing sorrow for the five players who were forced to return home since they did not meet the criteria required by Alberta Public Health in the return to play protocol, Tourigny admitted that announcing it to Xavier Simoneau had been particularly difficult.
Remember that the latter arrived late at the camp since the result of his COVID-19 test had taken longer than expected to arrive and he was therefore unable to participate in the intra-team matches before the isolation.
“When we realized the situation, we were all heartbroken to see what was happening to Xavier. He has been an incredible soldier for us. In all Zoom calls or at all obstacles he was always polite and kind. When he got the news, he was the first to send a message to all the players. A message that came from the bottom of my heart. He really is an exceptional young man and he had a golden opportunity. I often say that hockey is fair, but that is not true for him. ”
Waiting over for Devon Levi
The patience of Montreal goalkeeper Devon Levi has been tested for a month.
Just after completing his mandatory quarantine as he arrived from the United States, he learned that the entire Junior Team Canada roster had to go into isolation again after the two reported cases of COVID-19 in players from the United States. ‘team.
So it’s been a month since the choice of the Florida Panthers has been waiting for his chance to demonstrate his know-how in the company of all the other players invited to the selection camp. During his first 40s, Levi skated with the two other players playing in the NCAA, Alex Newhook and Dylan Holloway.
Tuesday morning, he was finally able to say: finally!
“It wasn’t easy to be away from the team for a month. On the other hand, I have done everything in my power to stay as fresh and available as possible. I did a lot of videos and did some exercises to work on my hand / eye coordination. It was great to finally be able to jump on the ice today [mardi]. “
Now whoever enlisted with the Northeastern University Huskies will have very little time to prove their point. Junior Team Canada will hold intra-team meetings today and tomorrow and finalize their 25-man roster on Friday.
“I just want to focus on stopping the pucks. The decision of the coaches is theirs. All I can control is the next shot to stop. ”
That seems to be the mentality he decided to have at this camp. Several guests from all walks of life gave lectures to ECJ players during their lockdown, and Levi has learned that lesson.
“They all came from different backgrounds, but they all had the same message. The one I took away is that it’s important to focus on the process and let the rest take its course. For me the goal is to win the gold medal and to do that I have to have one of the three goalie positions available. I have no control over it, which is why I focus on stopping the pucks. ”
That’s also why he doesn’t let outside noise bother him.
“There are a lot of obstacles or things I can focus on that don’t relate to my goal. So I want to stay focused on stopping the pucks. It is an honor for me to be here with the best players under 20 in the country. I’m excited to be jumping on the ice every day, so I don’t have a problem letting the noise outside. ”