Perry staying on Canada's top line

JIM CRESSMAN -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 12:07 PM ET

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Head coach Brent Sutter got right to the point yesterday. London Knights right-winger Corey Perry will remain on Canada's top line with Patrice Bergeron and Sidney Crosby, and Jeff Glass will be back in goal today against Sweden at the world junior hockey championship.

Jeremy Colliton of the Prince Albert Raiders was going to be the right-winger with Bergeron and Crosby, but suffered a leg injury a week ago during an exhibition game against Finland.

Judging from Colliton's skating at practice yesterday, he appears ready to rejoin the lineup, but he was with Michael Richards of the Kitchener Rangers and Nigel Dawes of the Kootenay Ice.

The Bergeron-Crosby-Perry line accounted for four goals in a 7-3 win over Slovakia in the tournament opener on Saturday and when Sutter was asked the plan for Colliton, he replied, "I think it was pretty evident in practice where he'll play, if he plays."

That was good news for Perry, who has played himself from being the 13th forward to the top line, at least for now.

Colliton is a checker, someone who can create room for Bergeron and Crosby. That's certainly not Perry's role, but when a line scores four goals, you're not about to tinker.

It was Perry who spent most of the game setting up his linemates, but if somewhere along the line the other team puts a checking unit on the ice, then Perry could be moved off it.

As for Glass, who plays for Kootenay, and Rejean Beauchemin, who tends goal for Prince Albert, they weren't household names coming into this tournament.

Glass, an Ottawa Senators third-rounder, let in a couple of softies against Slovakia, but Sutter has decided to come back with him.

"We thought he didn't look bad," Sutter said. "Did he have one of his better games? No. But we won the hockey game and Jeff made a couple of big saves when he needed to."

Glass was aware his first-game performance did nothing to silence those who questioned his choice for this team.

"It's not exactly how I wanted it to go, but I learned from it and it felt good to go to bed (last) night," he said.

"I'm excited to keep going and keep this thing running. People can say what they want, but I'm going to do what I've been doing and that what's got me here. It's my first international experience and it felt good to get my feet in the water."

Glass said the biggest difference he's having to contend with is the 15 feet of ice that's behind the goal line at the Ralph Engelstad Arena, home of the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux.

Usually it's 13 feet from the goal line to the end boards.

While the extra two feet is good for the defencemen when they're trying to move the puck out and for the forwards who can play a game back there when in the opposing zone, it can be a nightmare for a goalie. It can be a no-man's zone, or in this case, a no-goalie zone.

"You have to learn how to play the hard wraparounds," Glass said. "There are times you just have to let them wrap it around and let the defence play it in the opposite corner.

"When you're back there, you've got to be 100-per-cent positive in what you're doing because it's a long way back to your net and you're not going to be able to get away with a mistake. You've got be 100-per-cent aware of where your outlet is."

Glass said it's no different when the play is in front of him.

"It doesn't change anything that's in front of you. From the goal line up, it's all the same."


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