Making squad Sonne delight

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:19 AM ET

Brett Sonne has dreamt of the moment since he could lace up his own skates.

Yesterday, it arrived.

The Calgary Hitmen forward donned a Team Canada jersey.

"Ever since you're a little kid, you dream about playing for your country and wearing the Maple Leaf on your chest," Sonne said after he was named to the national under-18 team.

"It's a dream come true."

The 17-year-old will be a part of a powerful Canadian squad expected to dominate at the eight-country Junior World Cup, which starts Tuesday in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Piestany, Slovakia.

"We've got a lot of depth and a lot of skill," said Sonne, adding he wasn't sure who he'd have for linemates when Canada opens the tourney against Switzerland.

"It's going to be exciting to see players from around the world.

"And also to see Europe. I've heard it's a beautiful place and I can't wait to experience it."

Sonne, who had 21 points during his rookie campaign in the WHL last season, has never been overseas.

Calgary product Thomas Hickey (Seattle T-Birds) was also named to the team as was Red Deer Rebel Brandon Sutter, the son of Rebels owner/GM/coach Brent Sutter.

Lethbridge Hurricanes 'tender Justin Leclerc and Peterborough Petes stopper Trevor Cann will share action between the pipes.

The team, comprised of players born in 1989 or later, is considered Canada's strongest since the '85 class.

That squad, which featured the likes of Calgary Flames blueliner Dion Phaneuf and former Calgary Hitmen Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, won gold on both the under-18 and world junior stages.

The team flies to Europe today and plays an exhibition game against the Czech Republic Sunday.

Canada's under-18 teams have won 11 of the last 12 tournaments.


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