Alberta’s Carter Hart ready to lead Canada at World Juniors

The Czech Republic's Krystof Hrabik tries to put the puck past Canada's goalie Carter Hart during the third period in their World Junior Championships pre-tournament game in London Ont. on Wednesday, December 20, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Geoff Robins

The Canadian junior team is preparing for the start of the World Junior Hockey Championships on Boxing Day in Buffalo.

Sherwood Park native and Team Canada starting goaltender Carter Hart returns and is one of seven players who are back from last year’s team who settled for a silver medal.

READ MORE: Team Canada goalie Carter Hart arrives home after losing world junior gold

Hart says he’s much more comfortable with this year’s experience compared to his first last year in Toronto and Montreal.

“Last year coming into it, I didn’t know what to expect and the kind of pedestal the tournament is put on,” Hart said.

“Now I know what the whole event is like and just how fast it really goes by and you don’t really have a lot of time. With the time that you do get you want to make the most of every opportunity you get, whether that’s in practice or in games.”

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LISTEN: 630 CHED’s Dave Campbell speaks with Canadian junior goaltender Carter Hart about the team coming together quickly for a short tournament:

Hart was in goal for Canada’s 5-4 loss in a shootout to the United States in the 2017 Gold Medal game in Montreal. Canada gave up two-goal leads twice to the Americans.

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Hart made 31 saves in a losing effort and says the loss doesn’t weigh on him anymore.

“I know last year when it happened it was a pretty devastating loss but at the same time you just have to learn from it and move on. That happened almost a year ago now so here we are again at the World Junior tournament once again. To get another opportunity, I’m very lucky and I’m excited for another shot at this.”

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Hart is currently playing for the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League. Hart missed the first six weeks of the season because of mononucleosis while attending the training camp of the Philadelphia Flyers. Hart has a 13-3-1 record with a 1.32 goals against average and a .961 save percentage for the Silvertips who are in first place of the U.S. Division.

Canada will open the tournament on Boxing Day against Finland.

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