Sunday, October 28, 2012

Eagles Off To WJAC Camp

The Surrey Eagles will return to practice this week and begin preparing for three games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday against Langley, Merritt and Prince George. But two members of the team -- Michael Stenerson and Devon Toews -- will be in Alberta at the selection camp for Team Canada West. Those chosen to the team will compete in the 2012 World Junior A Challenge.

The two Eagles will be joined at the camp by 23 other players from across the BCHL as well as 18 players from the AJHL, eight from the SJHL, six from the MJHL and three from the SIJHL.

Stenerson was part of the Canada West squad that won the gold medal at last year’s tournament in Langley. The 19-year-old is looking forward to the opportunity to play in the competition again.

“I’m really excited,” he said. “It was a good group of guys last year, and I think there’s five or six returning players. I’ve talked to a couple of guys, and they’re all excited too and ready to get going.”

The Surrey forward, who has 16 points in 15 games this season and has found some chemistry of late with line mates Demico Hannoun and Brady Shaw, is hoping that his experience at the tournament last year will benefit him in his second go around.

“Going into camp knowing what to expect and what the coaches expect is a big advantage,” he said. “They’re looking for good hard Canadian hockey – fast paced and on the body. I think I can bring that.”

Meanwhile, Toews is heading to the selection camp for the first time. The 18-year-old blue liner, who is one of six BCHL defenseman who have been invited to try out, has been leaning on Stenerson for tips about what to expect.

“I’m pumped. I can’t wait,” said Toews. “It’s going to be a great opportunity. I’ve been talking to Stenerson who was there last year, just trying to find little pointers here and there like what helps you during the camp, what to do and what to bring and stuff like that.”

As a result of the camp and the tournament that follows, Eagles Head Coach and General Manager Matt Erhart could be without two of his top players for up to six games. But after both Stenerson and former Eagle Brandon Morley left the team to play in the tournament last year, Erhart has found that it can be an opportunity, not only for the players heading to the camp, but for those who will have to step into more prominent roles while Toews and Stenerson are away.

“I think (Stenerson and Morley) picked up a lot of little things and came back confident, and it coincided with our team making a good run last year,” said Erhart. “The guys came back with some confidence and other guys stepped up into bigger roles in their absence and proved that they could play in those bigger roles. It hurts when they’re gone, but at the same time it allows other guys to get more confidence and then when everybody’s back, we’ll be a more well-rounded team because of it.”

The Canada West camp begins this evening and runs until Thursday. The 2012 World Junior A Challenge will be held in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia from November 5-11.

No comments:

Post a Comment