Kyle Quincey and Danny Syvret are the only two defencemen in the Ontario Hockey League being seriously considered for Canada's selection camp next month and one gets the feeling they're pulling for each other.
"What people don't know is Danny and I played together since we were about 12 years old, with the Halton Hurricanes of the OMHA," Quincey said last night after the OHL beat Russia 3-1 in the third game of the Canada-Russia Challenge here at the Molson Centre in Barrie.
"His dad Dave was my coach all the way and taught me how to play defence."
Quincey of the Mississauga IceDogs and Syvret of the London Knights formed the OHL's top defence pair during power plays last night. The duo was lauded earlier in the day by Canada assistant coach Peter DeBoer, who coached the OHL side last night.
"When we're short-listing defencemen from the OHL, Syvret and Quincey lead that pack and they're the only two from the OHL we're considering (for the selection camp)," DeBoer said.
There's no guarantee that Syvret, who leads OHL defencemen with 29 points and was the only Ontario rearguard at Canada's summer development camp, or Quincey will get an invitation to the selection camp, to be held Dec. 12-16 in Winnipeg.
Canada will have four defencemen back from last year's team, and the competition for an invite to the camp -- let alone a spot on the squad late next month at Grand Forks, N.D. -- will be intense.
Quincey, who was acquired by the IceDogs from the Knights in the Rob Schremp deal last season, has 18 points in 22 games and also can perform with a bit of a mean streak. His crunching body check on Alexander Plyuschev into the boards at the Russian bench resulted in a skirmish near the end of the game.
"It was a good first step for me and I want to play another good one on Monday," Quincey said in reference to the OHL's second game versus Russia, at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga. "Knowing that (DeBoer) thinks highly of me gives me a real confidence boost."
Of the OHL's forwards last night, Canadian incumbents Michael Richards (named the player of the game for the OHL) and Jeff Carter are locks to return to the national team. One guy who could have a tough time making it is Knights forward Corey Perry. He leads the OHL in scoring with 54 points, but did little to impress last night.
David Bolland, Ryan Parent and Brad Richardson scored for the OHL, which outshot the Russians 47-26.