Glass' defence tough to crack

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:12 AM ET

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- A few months ago, Jeff Glass never could have imagined this scenario. Hoped for it and dreamed about it but there's no way he could have imagined he'd actually have such an incredible opportunity.

Tomorrow night, the Calgary kid who now calls Cochrane home will be in the spotlight before a nation's hockey fans.

When the puck is dropped on Canada's gold-medal game against Russia, Glass will be standing between the pipes looking to backstop his side to an historic victory that would earn Canada its first World Junior Hockey Championship gold medal since 1997.

"I'm trying not to get too wrapped up in all that," said the likeable netminder. "We've got a big game ahead of us now, what we've been preparing all tournament for. We're not going to get too wound up."

Glass will have plenty of energy. During yesterday's 3-1 win, the Czechs managed only 11 shots on goal at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.

"(The defence was) unbelievable," Glass proclaimed. "That's a great Czech team over there and to hold them to only 11 shots and only a couple of good scoring chances is a phenomenal job by our team."

Going into the tournament, everybody knew the Canadians were blessed on defence and offence. The big question mark was between the pipes with Glass of the Kootenay Ice and Prince Albert Raiders netminder Rejean Beauchiman.

Those questions remain but not really of Glass' doing.

Thanks to his team's incredible defensive play, he's faced only 71 shots in four full outings. The goals-against average of 1.50 and save percentage of .915 are very good.

Glass hasn't been great but, then again, hasn't needed to be.

Head coach Brent Sutter certainly dispelled any concerns his goaltender hasn't really been tested.

"I guess I'm gonna throw it back at you: Would you rather have 40 shots on net or 11 against you?" he said. "We'll take the 11 against us and take the win."

For his part, Glass isn't concerned about the questions.

"We're all here for one goal and whatever I have to do to get our team to that, I'll do," he said. "If it's a small role, I'll take it."


Videos

Photos