Two Bron­cos hop­ing for World Ju­nior glory this hol­i­day sea­son

The Southwest Booster - - SPORTS/SPECIAL OCCASIONS - > StevenMah [email protected]­booster.com

Swift Cur­rent Bron­cos for­ward Cody Eakin is looking for­ward to a few of the most im­por­tant days of his life as he leaves the team to at­tend Team Canada’s try­out camp for this month’s IIHF World Ju­nior Hockey Cham­pi­onship to be held in Saskatoon and Regina.

“I think so yeah. It is a goal and a dream that I have had since I was just a young kid start­ing out play­ing hockey. I think that is every­one’s dream is to play in the­World Ju­nior’s for Team Canada. It is pretty big and pretty im­por­tant but I just have to go out and play my game and keep it sim­ple.”

Af­ter lead­ing the West­ern Hockey League in goals with 26 through his first 32 games he hopes that he has im­proved his stand­ing among the 36 play­ers in­vited since be­ing a last minute in­jury re­place­ment at the sum­mer camp.

“You could say that I guess. Be­sides a few of the guys that played last year though, every­one goes in with the same ex­pec­ta­tions and the same way they have to play to make the team, I don’t think any­one can just go out and make the team. It is go­ing to be a hard work­ing camp, there are a lot of good play­ers, and I amex­cited to be a part of it.”

He says this camp is dif­fer­ent than any other he has ever at­tended.

“I think that the level of com­pe­ti­tion and the group of guys is the best there is. So if you are not go­ing ev­ery night, play­ing your game, keep­ing it sim­ple, and be­ing smart then you won’t re­ally have a shot to make it. You have to go out there and do that kind of stuff and hope­fully you earn a spot on the team.”

Eakin’s line­mate Stepan Novotny was named to the Czech Repub­lic World Ju­nior team for the sec­ond straight year and he is ex­cited to rep­re­sent his coun­try once again. Last year he recorded one as­sist in five games in Ottawa as the Czech Repub­lic fin­ished in sixth-place.

“I am re­ally ex­cited about it, I think it is go­ing to be great. World Ju­niors is a big event, with a lot of peo­ple watch­ing and a lot of good guys that are go­ing to play, so I think that it is go­ing to be a lot of fun. That is what I said last year is that it is just a chance to see where I am at as a player against the best guys out there.”

He likes his team’s chances this year.

“We have a lot of guys back from last year so I think that we are a lit­tle bit more ex­pe­ri­enced and I think that we are go­ing to have a good team. Ob­vi­ously we are go­ing to see how it goes and we are go­ing to take the first cou­ple of games and go from there. I do think that we do have a chance if we just keep it sim­ple,” said the Prague na­tive.

The 19-year-old for­ward will ac­com­pany the Bron­cos for the start of their U.S. Divi­sion trip but will de­part af­ter the Bron­cos play in Everett on De­cem­ber 16th for the Czech train­ing camp in Regina.

Novotny, who has played for his coun­try from the U-16 level right up to the World Ju­niors, be­comes the first Bronco named to the Czech World Ju­nior team since Daniel Rakos made the 2006 Czech team.

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