Alfie digging Canada's win

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

BUFFALO -- This shovelling job will be good as gold.

Looking for a unique bet before last night's Team Canada vs. Sweden world junior final at Scotiabank Place, Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson and winger Shean Donovan decided a friendly wager was in order.

The two neighbours put their heads together and decided that if Canada came out victorious, then Alfredsson will have to shovel Donovan's outdoor rink after the next big snowfall. If Sweden won, then Donovan would have to do the same for Alfredsson.

"We just thought it would be something fun," said Donovan, the Carleton Place native. "He lives a couple of doors down from me and he's always out there working on his rink. His is huge. It's almost Olympic-sized. I really need Canada to win. It's going to be hard work. Mine's really small compared to his. It's not going to take him anytime at all."

Donovan got what he needed, and Canada won 5-1.

BACK TO AULD

Senators coach Craig Hartsburg has decided to stick with G Alex Auld tonight against the Sabres. While Auld has allowed 28 goals and has lost his last six starts, Hartsburg was satisfied with Auld's performance in the 4-3 OT loss to New Jersey Sunday. He also noted Auld played well in a 5-2 win in Buffalo on Oct. 27th. "The last game here Alex was really strong. That's not the only reason. I thought he played well (in New Jersey). We win that game in OT and there's probably not any question about him playing," said Hartsburg. "The two goals that went in. I don't think there's a goalie in the world that would have stopped (Jamie) Langenbrunner's shot with that much time to tee it up and shoot the puck. In overtime, the winning goal (by Brian Rolston), he couldn't see it."

HARD TO BELIEVE

Sabres D Craig Rivet said he's surprised to see the Senators sitting at No. 12 in the East. "I've obviously played Ottawa a lot in my career," said Rivet, a former Hab. "You look on the other side and they've got some very talented players. They've got a lot of skill and they're a team that's had a lot of success ... Sometimes you look at that team and you scratch your head a little bit to see where they are in the standings. At the same time, it's a really tight league. You can have a really solid team and still not have success. It's little things that win hockey games and they're going through a bit of struggle right now."

OFF THE GLASS

Senators D Anton Volchenkov didn't skate and isn't expected to play after suffering what appeared to be a shoulder injury on the weekend. Alfredsson, C Mike Fisher, RW Chris Neil and D Chris Phillips weren't on the ice either. All are expected to play ... What is it about goalies and the Buffalo media? Sabres G Ryan Miller had a heated discussion with Buffalo News columnist Jerry Sullivan yesterday after practice. Apparently, Sullivan called Miller an "average" goalie and then didn't show up the day after making the accusation. In 1997, then Sabres G Dominik Hasek grabbed former News columnist Jim Kelley and ripped his shirt after the scribe accused the netminder of quitting during a playoff series against Ottawa. I've witnessed them both and this incident wasn't nearly as dramatic ... Senators C Nick Foligno said he was given an "abuse of official" call for a remark he made as the final horn sounded in New Jersey. Foligno wasn't suspended and didn't expect a fine either. "I was disappointed in the call (on Phillips in OT) and I maybe yelled at him a little more than I should have," said Foligno. "I didn't think it was anything serious. I was just emotional about the loss ... I didn't say anything vulgar. I've heard guys say worse."


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