Mark Visentin was solid in Canada’s opening game win over Finland, more than good enough to get the nod for Wednesday’s collision with the Czech Republic.
Instead, Scott Wedgewood made his World Junior Championship debut and the Plymouth Whalers netminder more than made the most of his opportunity. The 19-year-old from Brampton, ON. turned aside all 26 shots that he faced in what could best be described as a very solid outing.
Yet in this game his most important contribution came by way of an assist rather than a stop.
In the later stages of the second period with Canada leading 1-0, Wedgewood recognized that the Czechs were making a change and fired a long lead pass to Freddie Hamilton which turned into a Ryan Strome goal that, for all intents and purposes, put the game to bed.
The New Jersey Devils third round pick in 2010 was in my estimation the best goalie during the selection camp. Wedgewood, in two pre tournament appearances and the first game that truly mattered while donning the maple leaf has given up but one goal.
Considering it was a big question mark heading into the tournament, Canada right now has a pretty good looking one-two punch between the pipes. Look for Visentin to get the call on Thursday against Denmark.
Who will answer the bell for the all important New Year’s eve clash against the United States? Wedgewood is making it one very difficult decision.