World Jr. Hockey Championships: Team Canada Begins Title Defense

Francois GendronSenior Writer IDecember 26, 2007 Canada begin play in the World Junior Hockey Championships today, with a game against the host Czech Republic. Canada is chasing a fourth consecutive gold medal.

Canadian goaltender Jonathan Bernier should see plenty of action during the tournament. Bernier compared the pressure of winning the gold for Canada to the pressure he faced during the Los Angeles Kings' season-opener in England—a game Bernier won, registering his first NHL shutout.

Bernier has managed a 1-3 record in his brief NHL career.

Canadian head coach Craig Hartsburg announced his lines before the start of the competition. First, Claude Giroux and Brad Marchand will play with Kyle Turris at centre. Brandon Sutter will have Stefan Legein and Wayne Simmonds as wingers, and Steve Stamkos will be flanked at centre by Matt Halischuk and Shawn Matthias.

Four other players will also be available: John Tavares, Riley Holzapfel, Colton Gillies, and Zach Boychuk.

On defense, Karl Alzner and Drew Doughty will likely be paired together, as will Thomas Hickey and Luke Schenn, and Logan Pyett and Josh Godfrey.

P.K. Subban is on the roster as an extra defensemen.