Volume 92, Issue 56

Thursday, January, 1999

in the books


SPORTS

Moss, Petrie named to national varsity team

Neufeld strokes to national honours

Referees have become the scapegoats for NFL losers

Holiday Recap

Moss, Petrie named to national varsity team

By John Dinner
Gazette Staff

As Canada took steps back towards international hockey respectability with a silver in the junior championships on Tuesday, another Canadian team is gearing up for competition overseas.

University hockey players from Ontario will be travelling to Poprad-Tatry, Slovakia to compete in the World University Games, with two Mustangs wearing the Maple Leaf for Canada.

From January 21-30, third-year centre and captain of the Mustangs Jeff Petrie and first-year defenceman Jim Moss will trade the purple horse of Western for the red leaf of Canada.

Despite the relative low profile of this tournament Team Canada head coach Marlyn Muyleart of the Guelph Gryphons said he believes when the players don the red and white jersey, it will not be difficult to get them motivated.

"I was surprised during the camp [Dec. 19-22] at how quickly everyone meshed. They were right into it right away," Muyleart commented. "It's very seldom that there's an opportunity to represent your country against the best hockey countries in the world."

Both Muyleart and his assistant Barry Martinelli, Western's head coach, believe team chemistry to be very important in such a short tournament, but neither see this as a potential problem for their squad.

"There's a lot of pride in representing Canada, whether it be the under 17 or 18 teams, the juniors or the Olympics," Martinelli said. "Playing for Canada is such an honour because of what hockey means to our country."

Petrie will be counted on for his skating and physical presence against the wide open European style, but believes his role won't be strictly defensive. "I'll probably be on a line with a couple of guys that play the same sort of style as me," Petrie said. "In my short conversation with the coaches, they told me they want my line to be a spark or energy line."

Moss, a rookie with the Mustangs this year, is no stranger to representing Canada on the international stage as he has captained Canada's field lacrosse team in the world championships. This experience and leadership is something the coaching staff was looking for when selecting the team.

"We wanted guys that would put their egos on the shelf for the team and Jim is exactly that type of player," Muyleart said. "His reputation as a leader preceded him entering camp. He's a very respected player around the league and he's got the skills to go with his exceptional leadership."

Leadership is one of the strengths of the Canadian squad, coupled with speed and size up front and outstanding goaltending. These skills should allow Canada to not only play traditional physical hockey but also be able skate with the slick Europeans.

Moss, however, believes just playing for Canada is enough to motivate the players. "It's cliche to talk about pride when playing hockey for Canada, but it really is all that it's about."






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Copyright The Gazette 1999