Danny Syvret and his family had a little party in the summer when he was invited to participate in the evaluation camp for Canada's world junior team.
The Syvrets undoubtedly would pop a few more corks if Danny is selected to play for Canada at the 2005 world junior championship next month, and the 19-year-old native of Millgrove, Ont., is trying to make it as difficult as possible for Hockey Canada to ignore him.
A 6-foot, 206-pound defenceman, Syvret scored two goals last night as the London Knights ran their unbeaten streak to 19 games with a 6-1 whipping of the Mississauga IceDogs.
Syvret knows it will be an uphill battle to crack Canada's roster, given there are four returning defencemen from last year's team, but he will get a further opportunity to impress Hockey Canada brass when he suits up for the OHL in the Canada/Russia Challenge later this month.
"It's going to be the last little look they are going to have before they make the roster for the (selection) camp," said Syvret, who has 26 points in 19 games and leads the OHL with a plus-26. "I think the summer camp got me tuned up for (the possibility of playing for Canada) and hopefully I get a shot at it this year."
The Knights, who will play host to the Memorial Cup next May, are 18-0-1 to start the season. The Canadian Hockey League record of games without a loss to begin a season is 29, held by the 1978-79 Brandon Wheat Kings.
Syvret isn't the only Knight who will give the Canadian coaching staff pause for thought, but there already are whispers Corey Perry will be in tough to make the national team. Only Sidney Crosby of the QMJHL's Rimouski Oceanic, who leads the Canadian Hockey League with 46 points in 20 games, has more points than Perry's 44.
Perry, a late cut by Canada last winter, is second in the OHL to Syvret with a plus-22. But while there are some defensive stylings in Perry's game, he is not considered a definite shoo-in for Canada for this year's tournament in North Dakota.
"If I had anything to do with Team Canada, he would be on that team," Knights coach Dale Hunter said. "Definitely, he can play two ways. I know character means a lot (at the world junior). It's a tough struggle, but (Perry and Syvret) are a couple of tough character kids."
Perry had three points (a goal and two assists) last night at the Hershey Centre, where the announced attendance was 3,875 even though there were banks of empty purple seats.
"Two top teams in the league and no one is here," an NHL scout said. "That's too bad."
Dylan Hunter, David Bolland and Trevor Kell also scored for London. Dustin Jeffrey scored for the IceDogs (8-4-4-1).
ATTACK 5, STING 2
Right-winger Bobby Ryan scored once and added three assists as the Owen Sound Attack dumped the Sarnia Sting 5-2 yesterday.
Stefan Ruzicka scored twice including an empty-net goal while Kevin Baker and Igor Gongalsky, with his first in the OHL, added singles for the Attack (10-6-1-1, third in the Midwest Division).
Brad Efthimiou and Richard Clune responded for the Sting (5-12-2-1, fifth in the West).
Attack goalie Dan LaCosta made 24 saves while Ryan Munce stopped 30 shots for the Sting.