They're a whole lot more than spare parts

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

INNSBRUCK, Austria -- Until yesterday, Canada's fourth line and seventh defencemen were spare parts.

But with a team out of gas, the fourth line was upgraded in ice time and the seventh defenceman put into the main rotation to play a part in Canada's come-from-behind 3-3 tie with Finland.

"We had a lot more ice time. It was a good opportunity to get out there," said Patrick Marleau, who scored the game's final goal.

"Playing back-to-back like that, we had to use everybody a little different," said the native of Anerold, Sask., who says coming off this weekend, with only a tie to show for a pair of games against Sweden and Finland, "we have to use more smarts and let the puck do the work."

Scott Walker, the 13th forward selected to the team after training camp in Calgary had started, said the fourth liners haven't complained about ice time.

"We know our role is to go in here and there. We all know our role on the team is to go in there when they want us to go in there, accomplish what we can accomplish and go forward.

"That's the Canadian way.

"This was a game when there's a lot of frustration out there with the first two lines, and that's the time and place to chip in and take some pressure off some guys' shoulders."

"We needed them. They're good players," said coach Marc Habscheid of the fourth liners. "We want them to be part of it."

Defenceman Chris Phillips was a standout much of the time.

"He played great," said Habscheid who juggled the defensive pairings for this one, but offered no indication of how he would go when Canada advances to the crossover game.

"Right now, it's a work in progress," he said.


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