Mason, Doughty will get their shot

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, FREE PRESS SPORTS COLUMNIST

, Last Updated: 11:00 AM ET

There was a common theme shared by Drew Doughty and Steve Mason: There's always next year.

Being cut from Canada's national junior team was a little more difficult for London Knights goalie Mason. He had a good shot at making it as Canada had no returning veterans in goal.

But Mason never really got a chance to show what he could do because of a concussion. He only got on the ice for one full practice and 30 minutes in a game.

"It's not a whole lot of time to show the coaches what I can do but they said there's always next year," Mason said. "That's a consolation. If this had been my last year and I didn't have another chance, that would have been harder to take. But there is next year, and hopefully I'll go in there and have a good strong camp and make the team."

Doughty, a Londoner who plays defence for the Guelph Storm, is 16 and tried to crack a veteran-laden blue-line corps. He'll be a fixture on the world junior team in coming years, but this year he was a longshot.

"I knew going in that it was going to be tough," Doughty said. "You always want to make it but going into it I didn't expect too much. I wanted to play and gain experience for next year, to show them what I could do."

Doughty and Mason faced each other last night when the Storm and Knights met at the John Labatt Centre.

The Knights can certainly use some players right now. Last night they were without David Jarram, Josh Beaulieu and Adam Hasani, all injured, Sam Gagner, who is with Canada's national team, and Sergei Kostitsyn, who is with the Belarus team for the world junior tournament.

Also missing were Jordan Foreman and Pat Kane, both as a result of Friday's game between the Knights and Spitfires.

Kane is serving a two-game suspension for a gross misconduct he took for spitting. He'll miss tonight's game in Sarnia against the Sting, a game he was going to miss anyway because of his commitment to play for the United States in the world junior.

Foreman came back Friday after missing 13 games with an ankle injury and his confrontation with Windsor netminder Andrew Engelage precipitated a line brawl. Foreman's ankle was sore, so the Knights opted to give him until after the Christmas break to get healthy.

There will be no additional penalties to Knights Scott Aarssen and Spitfires Keaton Turkiewicz for their game misconducts for being the second fight during the same stoppage.

"In reviewing the game video (David) Meckler and (Keith) Wynn never removed their gloves. There was no fight," OHL vice-president Ted Baker said.


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