'On cloud nine'

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:06 PM ET

Daniel Bertram only got a few hours of sleep Thursday night but he didn't care yesterday.

The Calgarian found out he's on the Canadian world junior hockey team, along with Calgary Hitmen goaltender Justin Pogge and Kamloops Blazers 'tender Devan Dubnyk, who also hails from Calgary.

Calgary Flames prospect Dustin Boyd, who plays for the Moose Jaw Warriors, also earned a spot.

Bertram, 18, a 5-ft. 11-in. skilled forward at Boston College, was still over the moon late yesterday morning after having his dream become a reality.

"I'm on cloud nine right now. I didn't get much sleep last night but it was all worth it," said the Chicago Blackhawks' 2005 draft pick in a phone interview from Vancouver, adding he only got about four hours of shut-eye.

"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity and I'm just excited right now, kind of taking in the moment."

So was Pogge, who will be the starter when he makes his first appearance in a Canadian uniform on Boxing Day in Vancouver, when Canada opens the tourney against Finland.

"It's huge for me. One of my big goals this season was to make the world junior team and my goal came through, so I'm just kind of in awe right now,"said Pogge, 19, who is from Penticton and leads the WHL in goals against average (1.53), save percentage (.928), shutouts (6) and wins (22).

Pogge was so busy yesterday morning, he didn't have a chance to call his mother, Annet, a single mom who put him through hockey on her own as he was growing up.

Unfortunately, the news wasn't so good for Hitmen defenceman Jeff Schultz, who was among the 12 cuts that didn't make the 22-man roster. Calgary Flames prospect Kris Chucko and Calgarian Andy Rogers, who plays defence for the Prince George Cougars, were also cut.

Pogge, a 6-ft. 3-in., 185-lb. Toronto Maple Leafs prospect, said the players were told they'd made the club by manager Ron Pyette.

"We didn't get a phone call, so we just went downstairs (and found out)," said Pogge, who didn't allow a goal through this week's selection camp.

Dubnyk was certainly on the bubble when it came to earning a roster spot. The Edmonton Oilers draft pick was cut from last year's junior team and, during the first intrasquad game of the selection camp, he allowed four goals on 17 shots. Two days later, he allowed five goals on 31 shots against the University of B.C. Thunderbirds.

"I'll admit that the camp didn't go as well as I would have liked," said Dubnyk, 19.

After wrapping up its selection camp, the Canadian team travelled to Chase, B.C., yesterday afternoon for a pre-tournament camp and some team bonding.

This year's edition of the Canadian juniors is young, with half of the team being 18 year olds. The club also boasts just one returnee, Medicine Hat Tigers blueliner Cam Barker.

To highlight Canada's youth movement, 17-year-old Jonathan Toews earned a spot. But head coach Brent Sutter said his team will surprise.

"We're young but we're good," said Sutter.

Not surprisingly, the Canadians aren't considered the favourites in the 10-team tournament. That distinction goes to the U.S.

Canada is in with the Americans, Finland, Switzerland and Norway in Group A. Those games will be played at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver.

Group B is made up of Russia, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Slovakia and Latvia, which will play their preliminary games in Kamloops and Kelowna, B.C. The medal-round games will be held at GM Place.


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