London sends 5 to world juniors

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 9:07 AM ET

London and southwestern Ontario will be well-represented at the world junior hockey championship beginning Dec. 25 in Grand Forks, N.D. London Knights forward Corey Perry, the OHL's leading scorer, is one of five area players set to play in the popular tournament held annually during the holiday season since 1977.

Knights captain Danny Syvret, a defenceman, also cracked the Canadian roster at the training camp in Winnipeg, and Londoner Jeff Carter, a centre with the Soo Greyhounds, returns for his second stint with Team Canada.

Knights forward Robbie Schremp and Sarnia Sting winger Dan Fritsche will play for the defending champion United States.

For Perry, it was a chance to make good after being cut from the team last year in Kitchener.

"As a kid, you watch every year on TV and think someday, maybe, it'll be you there," said Perry, a 2003 first-round draft pick of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

"It's different than getting drafted to the OHL or the NHL. Getting the opportunity to represent your country is a wonderful feeling."

There is a rich, recent history of area players in the world junior tournament. Current Chicago Blackhawks forward Mark Bell of St. Pauls played for Canada in 2000, Mike Van Ryn of London played in 1999, Belmont's Brian Willsie in 1998 and Boston's Joe Thornton was the last London-born player to win gold, in 1997.

This year Canada opens the tournament on Christmas Day with an afternoon game against Slovakia.

The Canadians play in a pool with the Slovaks, Sweden, Finland and Germany while the U.S. faces Russia, the Czech Republic, Belarus and Switzerland.


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