Facing Canucks will have special meaning for McCambridge

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:28 AM ET

PENTICTON, B.C. - St. John's IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge wasn’t about to try and downplay the importance of what was just around the corner.

As the Winnipeg Jets take on the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in their final game of the 2011 Young Stars tournament, McCambridge spoke passionately about the opportunity to play against the organization that employed him for the past two seasons as an assist coach with the Manitoba Moose.

The fact there could be as many as five former Moose players — Jordan Schroeder, Bill Sweatt, Yann Sauve, Kevin Connauton and Stefan Schneider — in the Canucks lineup only heightens the intensity.

“To me, that will mean something,” said McCambridge, who also drew interest from the Canucks for the head coaching job with the Chicago Wolves that eventually went to Craig MacTavish. “They all mean something, but to me it will have a little more impact. I’d like to get that win.

“I’d definitely like to get that and I talked to the guys about that and hopefully we can finish on a real good note here.”

It’s clear the players got the message as well.

“We need a win,” said Jets forward Jason Gregoire. “As a team we want to go out with a win and have a winning record. We’re representing the Jets here, we want to do well and show what we’ve got as prospects.”

McCambridge said that Edward Pasquale, who posted a 27-save shutout in the opening game of the tournament for the Jets, will start in goal and will split the contest with Chris Carrozzi.

Goaltending has been one of the strongest areas for the Jets through two games as they’ve only given up two goals.

As for the lineup, Winnipegger Jordan DePape will be held out, so the only other scratch will come on defence.

SO FAR, SO GOOD?: As for what he’s seen through the two games, McCambridge gave this assessment.

“System-wise, the guys were intelligent enough to pick up what we’re teaching them in a short period of time,” he said. “As for skill level, there’s a balance between both games. In the first game, we saw some guys have a strong game but in the second game, for the first half, the consistency wasn’t there.

“You also want to see how they come together as a group quickly and overall, it’s been pretty positive. With a young group, the youngest in this tournament looking at the rosters, they’ve been pretty strong.”


Videos

Photos