Knights star still in dark

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:56 AM ET

Hockey Canada won't say whether Corey Perry will be on its roster of invitees for the national junior selection camp next month, but a better question is whether Perry will crack the national junior team.

Playing in his fifth game in five nights, Perry had two assists as the OHL defeated Russia 5-2 in the fourth game of the Canada-Russia Challenge before 4,729 at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga.

"I'll definitively say on Dec. 6 (when the roster is released and whether Perry is on it)," Hockey Canada head scout Blair Mackasey said. "I just prefer it that way. I don't think it is fair to any of the players. I've made the point before when people have sold this series as a decision-maker. I don't think players should be judged on one or two games."

Then how about 26 of them? If the Knights have been the class of major junior hockey this season, then Perry has been the top student. Perry leads the OHL in scoring with 57 points (19 goals and 38 assists) but there have been questions about his attitude. Perry was cut from last winter's camp but there should be a federal investigation if he is not extended an invitation this year. He would be in tough at camp, as eight forwards from last winter are eligible to return.

"I thought I played better than Thursday," Perry said of his performance last night, compared to the first game between the OHL and Russia last week. "I was skating, doing all kinds of thing. Hopefully I can prove myself this year and make (the Canadian team). I think I have been doing pretty well this year but you never know what they are thinking."

Mackasey spent the majority of the first intermission last night huddled in one corner of the rink with Minnesota Wild general manager Doug Risebrough. Hockey Canada has not yet been told by Risebrough that defenceman Brent Burns will be released for the selection camp, starting Dec. 12. A total of 28-30 players will be named to the camp roster.

Burns is playing in Houston for the Wild's AHL affiliate.

Perry didn't have a point last Thursday, and he then skated in three Knights wins on the weekend. Last night, he set up London teammates David Bolland and Dylan Hunter for goals. Defenceman Nathan McIver of the St. Michael's Majors, Benoit Pouliot of the Sudbury Wolves and the Kingston Frontenacs' Anthony Stewart also scored.

BRIEFLY

Sarnia Sting forward Danny Fritsche, in his second game of the season after having shoulder surgery, suffered another shoulder injury against the Kitchener Rangers on Saturday. Fritsche had an MRI yesterday ... The Owen Sound Attack acquired defenceman Paul Bissonnette from the Saginaw Spirit for defenceman Tyson Gimblett and two second-round draft picks.


Videos

Photos