7:30 p.m., April 5)
to play in World U18 Hockey Championships
own Steffi Didomenicantonio, better known to thousands of Canadians as Steffi
D., stars in the national Broadway touring production of Spring Awakening
which is currently playing at the Canon Theatre in Toronto until April 19.
to believe that just 12 months ago, Erik Gudbranson was packing away his
hockey equip.m.ent after playing his final game with the Ottawa Jr. 67's Minor
Midget AAA team.
scoring 15 goals and 55 points playing right defence for the 67s, he was
projected by many to go in the first round of the OHL Priority Selection Draft,
which he did. He was selected 4th overall by the Kingston Frontenacs.
the Frontenacs dismal start to the season, the 6-foot-four, 185 pounder was selected
to play for Team Ontario at the World U17 Championships in Port Albeni, B.C. where
he helped lead the team to a gold medal.
the Frontenacs continued to flounder in the basement of the OHLs Eastern
Conference, Gudbranson continued to attract the attention of Hockey Canada officials
who selected him to play for the U18 team despite the fact that hes only
17-years-old, having celebrated his birthday on Jan. 7.
to his mother Donna, Gudbranson got the call from Hockey Canada a couple of weeks
ago after he had moved back to Orléans at the end of the regular season.
He had transferred to École secondaire Louis Riel and was preparing to
play in the francophonie secondary school provincial championships, when the phone
rang with the news.
my goodness, he was absolutely thrilled, says his mother. Its
huge. Its not just another feather in your cap. To get a chance to play
for your country in the World Championships is incredible.
team flew to Minneapolis together on April 2 for a mini-camp and a pair of exhibition
games against Slovakia and Germany. They will be traveling to Fargo on Wednesday
in anticipation of their first game against Germany on Thursday.
is hoping to have a good showing at the tournament which would put him in good
stead when Hockey Canada gets around to sending out the first invitations to the
World Junior team develop.m.ent camp which is traditionally held at the end of July.
will also be high on the list when Hockey Canada puts together the U18 team for
Ivan Hlinka Tournament in August.
Gudbranson is not draft eligible until 2010, hes already attracted the interest
of a number of NHL teams. Some hockey oriented websites are predicting he could
go as high as eighth overall if he stays healthy and continues to work on his
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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