Hartsburg left with tough choice

PAUL FRIESEN

, Last Updated: 7:12 AM ET

Mason or Bernier, that is the question.

After Game 1 hero Jonathan Bernier was victimized by four goals, and two bad bounces, against Sweden yesterday, Team Canada must decide whether to give Steve Mason another chance between the pipes against Denmark tomorrow.

Head coach Craig Hartsburg must determine how responsible Bernier was for Sweden's outburst, and whether he should be thrown right back into the fray to regain any confidence he may have lost.

"He played pretty well," Hartsburg said. "Those goals, we'll look at them ... see if there's anything he could have done differently. For the most part, he was pretty strong for us."

It's likely Hartsburg will want a goaltender coming off a good game to go into the medal round. So whoever he goes with against the overmatched Danes has a good chance of keeping the net the rest of the way.

He'll announce his decision today.

Bernier, for his part, says he hasn't lost any confidence.

"What can you do?" he said. "It's a lucky bounce. And they have a pretty good team, too."

CHEERING FOR THE CZECHS: Canada can still claim first place and the bye, but here's what has to happen: the Czechs must beat Sweden by less than six goals tomorrow. That would create a three-way tie between the Canucks, Swedes and Czechs, and Canada would take first based on goals for and against between the three teams.

If the Czechs win by six, first is theirs.

AROUND THE WJHC: The U.S. remains the only unbeaten team in Group B, after its 3-2 win over the Russians. Rangers prospect Alexie Cherepanov scored his second of the tournament for the losers, James van Riemsdyk, the second overall pick by Philly last summer, his third for the States... Chicago draft Tony Lagerstrom has three goals for the Swedes... Florida prospect Michael Frolik leads the tournament with four.


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