Team Canada West began the defence of its World Junior A Challenge title on Tuesday with a 7-0 pounding of the Czech Republic on Tuesday afternoon in Yarmouth, N.S.
Victoria Grizzlies defenceman Nolan DeJong did not factor into the scoring, finishing with just one minor penalty, but the 17-year-old defenceman was excited going into the international tournament.
"So far this experience had been second to none," DeJong said prior to the team's opener. "The treatment we receive has been absolutely incredible.
From Day 1 we have been using world-class facilities."
Another Victoria native, former Grizzlie Wade Murphy, had a pair of goals in the victory and he was named the team's player of the game.
"It was a big win, the team looks good," Murphy said after the game.
DeJong is looking forward to a long tournament.
"As a team I have been very impressed with the ability of a group of players from different teams and even different leagues to come together and bond the way we have," said DeJong.
"We have been working tirelessly to prepare on and off the ice. I am thrilled to finally start the tournament and show the rest of the world what Team Canada West is capable of. It is an opportunity of a lifetime and I am so excited to continue to represent Canada in this event."
DeJong had a goal in Canada West's 4-3 shootout win over the United States in an exhibition game last Saturday.
The defending champion West team will face Russia today with quarterfinals set for Thursday, all at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, N.S.
Joining DeJong on the West team at the six-team tournament - that also includes Switzerland and Canada East - are Evan Tironese of Qualicum Beach and Evan Richardson of Nanaimo. Neither were on the scoresheet in Game 1.
DeJong's Grizzlies' teammate Dante Hahn will play in the CJHL prospects games over the weekend.
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