Cougars capitalize on rare opportunity to square off against Juniors
A select few Mount Royal University Cougars men’s hockey players recently had the chance to be a part of something special, facing off against Canada’s top junior hockey prospects.
|Mount Royal Cougars on Canada West Select Team:|
Five Cougars took the ice, along with ten players from the University of Calgary, two from the University of Lethbridge and three from professional ranks, to form a Canada West All-Star team worthy of competing against the Team Canada World Junior Selection Camp.
This was the second straight year that a Canada West all-star team had taken on the Canadian World Junior Camp.
After falling to the CIS No. 1-ranked University of Alberta Golden Bears the day before, Team Canada picked up the intensity for their last tune-up before final cuts and outlasted the Canada West Select Team 2-0.
Playing with the pros
Even though Cougar’s defenceman, Scott McKay, has played with and against some of the current players on the junior team, it was a learning experience.
“To have an opportunity to play with them on a stage like that was pretty neat,” says McKay. “I think our team got a really unique experience out of it.”
Cougars forward Mike Brown also enjoyed the experience.
“It was a lot of fun, pretty challenging, those kids are really fast,” says Brown. “It’s nice to play a real, high-speed pace of game again.”
Brown says the experience also gave him the idea that he might have to work on getting into better shape!
Playing with the enemy
Playing on the Canada West Select Team also presented a rather unique opportunity in that the five Cougars were playing alongside some of their arch-rival U of C Dinos.
With the final games versus U of C still on the schedule to help wrap up the Crowchild Classic, Cougars and Dinos played nice and worked together this time around.
“We got a chance to practice with them a couple of times at the U of C to get a feel for it … We were able to try to work together for a common goal and both teams were able to bring a mix of the flavour and style that the teams play in CIS,” McKay says.
— Fred Cheney, Jan. 24, 2013