Unbreakable Glass

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:07 PM ET

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The lulls have been often. And long. Leaving Jeff Glass plenty of time to himself.

All of Canada's victories so far at the world junior hockey championship have been one-sided.

In every game, too, the goaltenders have had long, long spells without action.

Which means plenty of time for mental gymnastics.

Which begs the question, what does he do?

Scout for babes?

Work out some math equations?

Adjust his cup?

Sing to himself?

"As soon as I start singing to myself, that's when I know I've gone crazy," said Glass with a grin. "You stay focused, you do things, play the puck, talk to the defencemen, do play-by-play in the net. You do what you can to stay in the game, keep your head focused and when you do get a shot, you have to be ready."

Yes, he said play by play.

"Oh yeah, talk it out," the Calgary product explained. "I tell the guys what to do in the offensive zone, what I would do. But, hey, I'm just a goalie."

Considering Canada has outscored its opponents by a 32-5 count, Glass has certainly had plenty of chances to practise his Peter Maher-like "Yeah baby!" call.

That's all expected to finally change for the twineminder who regularly toils for the WHL's Kootenay Ice. When Canada takes the ice in tomorrow's semifinal clash, it'll be with a berth to the gold-medal game on the line. Which should mean those lopsided shellackings we've seen so far will be things of the past.

It'll also mean more pressure on Glass, who'll start between the pipes. And, the expectation is he'll start seeing better shooters.

"I've been facing top-notch shooters in practice every day," said the third-round pick of the Ottawa Senators. "It's going to be exciting to face those top-name shooters in the game but I'm not going to change my approach in any way or do anything different. It's going to be the same old thing out there."

Canadian fans would love that.

But should life throw a curve ball, it's hard to believe it'll trip up Glass. Outgoing and humorous off the ice, he's cool as a cucumber on it.

"He's weird in his own way like most goalies are. They're just not normal but he's a pretty normal guy," said Kootenay teammate Nigel Dawes. "He plays with that attitude nothing fazes him. He's a pretty laid-back guy. He likes to have fun but he's a very hard worker and knows when to be serious and when it's time to go that extra mile.

"He's been a good fit with the guys."

That ability to let bothersome situations roll off him like water off a duck's back helped Glass deal with the whole process that's taken him to within two wins of a gold medal.

It's helped him cope with not being selected for last summer's evaluation camp.

Helped him deal with being an unknown going into the main camp in Winnipeg.

It's also been a blessing when hearing that goaltending was the team's Achilles heel.

"I'm not going to get too wound up in the stuff that goes wrong of the stuff that goes right. You've got to keep an even keel and keep going," said the 19-year-old. "That's the way I've always been. I've never got too caught up in too much stuff.

"I've always been an underdog, never been too highly rated and flown under the radar so you learn to keep plugging along and working at it and things work out."


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