World juniors -- uncut

BOB MACKIN -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 9:18 AM ET

A visit to a barbershop could be the difference for players vying to represent Canada in the World Junior Hockey Championship.

"Some of them have to get haircuts," head coach Brent Sutter said yesterday as the 34 hopefuls gathered at the Pacific Coliseum.

If Sutter is serious, then the long locks of Vancouver Canucks' first round draft pick Luc Bourdon are endangered. Sutter, the youngest of seven sons in the no-nonsense Viking, Alta., farming-and-hockey clan, has bigger worries. Only one untested player is returning from 2005's gold medal-winning squad.

Medicine Hat Tigers' defenseman Cam Barker won't need scissors, but the Winnipegger needs to stay healthy. He didn't play a single shift at the Grand Forks, N.D., tournament because of a bout with mononucleosis.

"The worst part was knowing you couldn't help the team," said Barker, third pick overall in 2004 by the Blackhawks.

The tryout camp runs through Thursday and includes Burnaby's Kris Chucko, Abbotsford's Michael Funk and goaltenders Justin Pogge of Penticton and Carey Price of Williams Lake.

No Vancouver Giants were selected.

Practices are open free to the public. Tuesday and Wednesday's scrimmages and Thursday's exhibition game against the University of B.C. Thunderbirds are all 6 p.m. face-offs. Tickets are $15.

Canada opens the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship against Finland on Boxing Day at the Coliseum.


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