Juniors put on game faces

SHANE ROSS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

It was the last game of the evaluation camp, but they played like it was, well, the last game of the world junior hockey championship.

Maybe because it was the last time to make an impression on the coaches.

After all, only the top players will get invited back to the December camp that will form the team that will compete at the worlds in Ottawa from Dec. 26-Jan. 5.

"It was the best game of the week, a lot of intensity," said national team coach Benoit Groulx. "We saw many good things."

The hits were harder and the roughing after the whistle much more frequent. Where was the love? The same guys who were sharing lunch together earlier were now punching each other in the head.

Both times they were driven by hunger.

"You might expect a friendly scrimmage, but when you're competing on a high level like this, it's hard not to get physical," said Nazem Kadri, who had his nose in a few skirmishes.

Oh, and last night's goal scorers were: Bruins draft pick Maxime Sauve, Jamie Benn (Dallas), Cody Hodgson (Vancouver) and Colton Gillies (Minnesota) for the Red. Patrice Cormier (New Jersey) and 17-year-old John Tavares for the White.

For what it's worth, the 4-2 win for Team Red gave it a 2-1 edge in the three-game set.

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

When your last name is Sutter, and your father and five uncles all played in the NHL, everywhere you go, annoying reporters ask you the same darn question: Do you feel any extra pressure?

"Obviously, I get asked it a lot," said Brandon Sutter, "but I'm getting pretty good at answering."

So, um, do you feel any extra pressure?

"I don't really feel there is," said Sutter, a first-round pick of the Hurricanes in 2007. "I just go out and play, I'm just another player on the ice. But I'm glad my family's there for me, and they help me a lot."

Brandon, of course, is Brent's son, and nephew to Brian, Darryl, Duane, Rich and Ron.

Three years ago, Brent Sutter coached the same national junior team his son is now expected to make for the second year in a row. He is now coach of the Devils and has been in Ottawa watching his son the past three nights.

"For a couple of days, I get to be just a dad," he said.

NOT COMING UP SHORT

Junior team coaches certainly don't discriminate against short people. Seven players in camp -- D Jared Spurgeon and Fs Tyler Ennis, Chris Terry, Paul Byron, Kelsey Tessier, Dana Tyrell and Louie Caporusso -- are all under 5-foot-10, almost a foot shorter than D Tyler Myers, the tallest player in camp at 6-foot-7 1/2. Being one of the smallest players is nothing new to Byron, who weighs in at only 144 lbs. but makes up for it with blazing speed and a nose for the net. "I wasn't even five feet when I was in Grade 8," he said.


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