Dillon Dubé to captain Canadian national team
Thursday, Dec 28, 2017 06:00 am
Cochranite Dillon Dubé has been selected to Captain Team Canada at the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) U-20 World Junior Hockey Championships in Buffalo, NY,. Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.
Montreal Canadiens defenceman Victor Mete and returning players Dante Fabbro from Boston University and Kale Clague of the Brandon Wheat Kings will serve as the alternate captains for the team during the duration of the tournament.
This will be Dubé’s second time representing his country at the international tournament, as he suited up for Canada at last year’s event, where he collected three assists in seven games. The team picked up a silver medal after Canada lost 5-4 in a shootout to the United States in the gold medal game.
The Cochrane product is having a stellar season with his Western Hockey League Club (WHL) – the Kelowna Rockets. He is third on the team through 25 games with 39 points and second in scoring with 18 goals. Dubé was originally leading the Okanagan based team in scoring, before he departed for the Canadian camp on Dec. 11.
Serving as an assistant captain for the Rockets, the Calgary Flames second round draft pick in 2016 was also named captain of Team WHL at the CIBC Canada-Russia Series, where he led all three CHL teams in scoring against the Russians – two goals and three assists for five points in two games. His performance tied an event record for points by a WHL player.
The Cochrane native played in only one of two Canadian pre-tournament games, sitting out the game against the Czech Republic with a shoulder injury. Dubé returned to the line up against Switzerland, recording two goals and adding an assist while playing on Canada’s top line in the team’s 8-1 victory.
Dubé says it’s a huge honour to be able to captain his country and believes his time in high stake games last year will serve him well in his new role.
“It’s crazy. It’s exciting for me and my family and, overall, it’s going to be a great experience,” Dube said in an interview with TSN’s Mark Masters.
“When things are down, when he have some tough games, it’s just about staying positive. Going through it last year with the pressure and being able to handle it, now I can pass it on to guys that haven’t been through the pressure that this tournament will put on you.”
Canada’s quest for a gold medal got off to a good start, as they beat Finland 4-2 on Boxing Day. The team will also face Team USA in the tournament’s first outdoor game on Dec. 29 at New Era Field, the home of the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills. Canada will also play round robin games against Slovakia and Denmark before the playoff portion of the tournament begins on Jan. 2 starting with the quarterfinals.