Canada wants payback against USA

By RYAN PYETTE, QMI Agency


Canada's Sidney Crosby looks over at his teammates during a Team Canada hockey practice at GM Place in Vancouver, B.C. (ANDRE FORGET/QMI Agency)

VANCOUVER — Corey Perry wants some payback.

Last month in Saskatoon, the United States ended Canada’s run of five straight world junior gold medals — a streak Perry, Sidney Crosby and several of their now-Olympic teammates helped start in 2005.

Now, Perry wants to make amends and grab back Canadian bragging rights against the U.S. — and make their rival’s road to Olympic gold more difficult — in a pivotal pool game Sunday at GM Place.

“They ended our streak at the world juniors and, I don’t know about the women, but I think that’s the last time our two countries have played,” the Anaheim Ducks forward said. “So now, it’s us and them here and it’s a big game.

“It’s one we really want to win.”

In Anaheim, Perry and Getzlaf often form a dominant forward line with Bobby Ryan, who plays for the U.S. side.

Now, Ryan will face his two buddies as part of another potentially deadly trio with Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane and Toronto Maple Leafs speedster Phil Kessel.

“Which is the better line — that’s a tough call,” the 22-year-old Ryan said. “Since we’re here, I’ll say it’s Kane and Kessel but if I’m back in Anaheim, it’ll be that line.

“I want to score against them (Perry and Getzlaf).”

Perry isn’t surprised the sharp-shooting Ryan keeps finding his way onto these top units. The NHL teammates haven’t spoken this week, but Perry has spotted Ryan eating lunch a couple of times in the Olympic village.

“First of all, Bobby’s a very good player,” the former Stanley Cup champion said. “He can bury the puck. He’s a big body. He does a lot of things very well and that’s why he’s here.”

U.S. coach Ron Wilson is looking for Ryan and Kessel to be gunners for the play-making Kane, who feels more comfortable when he’s carrying the puck.

“Bobby looks like a guy who if you put it in his wheelhouse, he’s going to be able to put it in,” Kane said.

Ryan was a major influence in convincing Kane to play in the Ontario Hockey League during the 2006-07 season. Kane led the entire Canadian Hockey League in scoring and was picked first overall that summer by Chicago.

“I gave Pat the information I thought he’d need and almost wish I didn’t because his team (London Knights) swept us (the Owen Sound Attack) in the playoffs that year,” said Ryan, the second-overall NHL pick by then-Anaheim GM and U.S. boss Brian Burke in 2005 after Crosby. “Pat was the best player in the league that year. He scored 60 goals and had a ton of points. He would’ve been the first pick wherever he went.

“I didn’t know after that if we’d ever get the chance to play together but I know we always hoped we would in a setting like this.”

For Canada, Perry and Getzlaf don’t have Ryan but they have a pretty nice stand-in on the left side — Carolina Hurricanes star Eric Staal.

ryan.pyette@sunmedia.ca

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