MONCTON -- When Steve Downie and Luc Bourdon helped Canada win the world junior in January, they started down a path which few have gone.
Downie, of the Peterborough Petes, and Bourdon, of the Moncton Wildcats, are trying to add themselves to a select group: Only 17 players and two coaches have won the world junior gold medal for Canada and the Memorial Cup in the same year. Corey Perry and Danny Syvret, then of the London Knights, were the most recent to win both in one season when they accomplished the feat in 2005.
"It would be great if one of us does it," Downie said with a grin yesterday after practice. "I just hope it's me. It's a tough thing to do and it would be a real blessing to do it."
Vancouver Giants coach Don Hay won the Memorial Cup and world junior in 1993.
There are several parallels in the stories of Downie and Bourdon in the past year. They were picked in the first round of the NHL entry draft last summer -- Bourdon 10th by the Vancouver Canucks and Downie 29th by the Philadelphia Flyers. Both have had personal challenges this season: Downie with a hazing incident and fight with a Windsor Spitfires teammate; and Bourdon, with a badly broken ankle in February. Bourdon said he is not 100% and will have surgery after the Memorial Cup.
And neither would be here had they not been traded -- Downie from Windsor and Bourdon from the Val d'Or Foreurs, a deal that went down during the world junior in Vancouver.
Downie and Bourdon, whose clubs clash tonight, had a chance to catch up with each other earlier in the tournament and Downie said there is a bond that will last a lifetime. Bourdon, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound defenceman, said he was looking forward to facing the 5-foot-10, 191-pound Downie.
"I really like the guy," Bourdon said. "He did a lot of good things for us (at the world junior), scored some big goals and made some big hits. He was a little disturber on the ice who gave us momentum."
Downie, who was one of the Petes' best players in a tournament-opening win on Friday night, said his team is getting antsy with a couple of days off between games.
"We want to play," Downie said. "We're itching to get going again."
TWIN KILLINGS, JUNIOR HOCKEY STYLE
Players and coaches who have won the Memorial Cup after winning world junior gold with Canada in the same season:
- Corey Perry, Danny Syvret (2005, London)
- Martin Biron, Christian Dube (1997, Hull)
- Darcy Tucker, N.Baumgartner, coach Don Hay (1995, Kamloops)
- Ralph Intranuovo (1993, Sault Ste. Marie)
- Trevor Kidd, Pat Falloon (1991, Spokane)
- Eric Lindros, Mike Craig (1990, Oshawa)
- Trevor Linden, Scott McCrady, Wayne McBean, Mark Pederson, Rob DiMaio (1988, Medicine Hat)
- Dan Hodgson, coach Terry Simpson (1985, Prince Albert)