Mason could be cleared to play

MORRIS DALLA COSTA -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 10:09 AM ET

Steve Mason is waiting for word this morning that he'll be cleared to practise and play at Canada's junior hockey team selection camp.

Mason suffered a concussion Saturday night in an Ontario Hockey League game, the night before he was to fly to Calgary for start of the selection camp.

Since then, Mason has been evaluated and tested by national team doctors.

"We had him looked at as soon as he got here Sunday and we determined that he couldn't go on the ice until he passed all the concussion testing," said Brad Pascall, spokesperson for Hockey Canada and the junior team.

Mason was limited to riding an exercise bike Monday before undergoing tests. On Tuesday, he skated by himself.

Mason began to feel better and yesterday he had an on-ice session with goaltender coach Corey Hirsch, which included handling some shots.

There was no official practice session yesterday.

"After the practice session, he said he felt fine but was a little tired," Pascall said. "Doctors determined that he could skate (today), but we won't know that until they evaluate him (this morning)."

While not being able to practice has put Mason behind the other goalies in camp, there are no goaltenders returning from last year's team.

While selection camp performance plays a big part in who makes the team, that's not the only criteria. Overall performance going into the camp also plays a part.

Carey Price of the Tri-City Americans is the only 19-year-old among the goalies. Besides Mason, the other goalies invited are Jonathan Bernier of the Lewiston Maineiacs and Leland Irving of the Everett Silvertips.

With Mason's injury, Hockey Canada added Peterborough Petes goaltender Trevor Cann to the camp.

On Sunday, Mason was on the same plane as Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds coach and national junior team coach Craig Hartsburg. It was then that Hartsburg found out Mason had been hurt.

"Steve is disappointed that he hasn't been able to play," Pascall said. "But we talked to him and told him that we weren't about to risk having him get hurt again and then have to miss another two months. He understood that."

The team leaves for Sweden tomorrow night. There is no set time for when cuts will be made. There are still 38 players in camp.


Videos

Photos