Carson's last call

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:52 AM ET

Brett Carson's got his chance and he plans on making a big impression.

The Calgary Hitmen defenceman yesterday was named as a replacement for the WHL all-stars in the 2004 ADT CHL Canada/Russia series.

Carson, 18, will play in the two Western Canadian games -- in Red Deer on Dec. 1 and in Lethbridge the following day.

Unfortunately, his spot comes at the expense of teammate Andy Rogers, who is out with a bad ankle.

"It would have been good for Rog to get the chance but I get the opportunity now and I'm going to try and make the most of it," said the 6-ft. 5-in., 215-lb. Carson.

"I never made the team off the start and I'm going to try prove to them that I should have been there and hopefully they recognize that and that's all I'm going to try do."

The Whitewood, Sask. product has never represented Canada in any kind of international competition and was passed over the last two seasons for the junior national team.

And he feels he's got something to prove to Brent Sutter, who will coach the Team WHL and Canada's junior team at the upcoming world championship starting in December.

"This is a great opportunity to show everyone that I do deserve to be with some of those guys and maybe they've overlooked me a couple of times, so I'm pretty pumped to get this chance," said Carson, who was taken by the Carolina Hurricanes in the fourth round of this year's NHL entry draft.

"It's going to be a good time and a good experience but at the same time there's going to be lots of business there."

So far this season, Carson has two goals and six assists in 21 games with a plus-4 rating.

"For sure, I've made some improvement in my own zone and I feel like I've been playing a lot more physical and that's what everyone's been asking me to do," Carson said.

"I figure I'm a more solid, two-way defenceman right now and lately I've started putting up some points and hopefully that carries on for the rest of the year."

He'll suit up for the WHL all-stars alongside teammates Jeff Schultz, Ryan Getzlaf and Andrew Ladd.

Another move for Team WHL has Kris Russell of the Medicine Hat Tigers replacing Vancouver Giants blueliner Mark Fistric, who is out indefinitely with a broken jaw.

The Canada-Russia series begins Monday in Quebec City, where the best from the QMJHL will take on the Russians. From there the series moves to Montreal Tuesday.

The best in the OHL suit up in Barrie, Ont., Thursday, and on Nov. 29 in Mississauga, Ont. All six contests will be shown on Rogers Sportsnet (Ch. 27).

ON ROAD AGAIN: The Calgary Hitmen, who wrapped up a seven-game homestand last weekend, are on the road again.

They're away from the 'Dome for seven games, starting tomorrow night in Cranbrook against the Kootenay Ice.

Then they travel to Spokane, Seattle, Tri-City, Portland, Everett and wrap it up in Vancouver on Nov. 30.

The Hitmen head out with an 11-6-4-1 record and don't play at the Saddledome again until Dec. 4, when the Prince George Cougars pay a visit.


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