Thursday, 8 August 2013

Hawryluk Adjusting to Checking Role with Team Canada

Jayce Hawryluk
  Thursday was a day of rest for Brandon Wheat Kings' forward Jayce Hawryluk and the rest of Canada's Under-18 team.

  After playing three games in three days at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament in the Czech Republic, Canada held an optional skate Thursday after of Friday's semifinal against Russia.

  Canada went 1-1-0-1 (one regulation win, one shootout win and one regulation loss) in their three round-robin games but still managed in finish in first-place in Pool A, putting them in a position to win a sixth straight gold medal at the tournament.

  "It's high competition here, every team is a great team.  You have to be ready to play every game, you have to come out flying and finish flying, that's for sure," Hawryluk told me on Thursday morning, "A couple of four games, we might have come out too slow and then picked it up too late but it's been good so far."

  The Roblin product is pointless in three games at the tournament but says he's playing less of an offensive role than he normally does with the Wheat Kings, with Canadian head coach Dale Hunter thrusting him into a third-line, checking type role.

  It's a role Hawryluk feels he's adjusting to.

  "It's been a lot different than my role on the Wheat Kings, that's for sure.  My role here is third, fourth checking line energy guy, make hits and what-not, cycle and, hopefully, get a few scoring chances," said Hawryluk, "It's definitely not the game I play back home but you have to accept the role.  That's how you win gold is guys buying into each role."

  Friday's matchup with Russia is another chapter in the international rivalry between the two countries that now dates back more than four decades.

  "I'm super's going to be a great matchup, and its always something I've dreamed of," said Hawryluk, "To play Russia in the semifinals, that's going to be a crazy experience, that's for sure."

  Friday's game begins at 10:30 a.m. (CDT).

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