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Two North Bay Battalion players aim to crack Canada’s World Juniors lineup

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Many young people who play hockey dream about representing Canada at the World Junior championship.

They include two North Bay Battalion players -- defenceman Ty Nelson and goaltender Domenic DiVincentiis -- who are going to Hockey Canada’s selection camp for the upcoming tournament.

"It's a dream that you have when you're a kid for your name to be selected,” DiVincentiis said.

“It's super amazing to me, you know, to hear someone from the national team call you and tell you that you've been selected."

DiVincentiis is one of four goalies to participate in the tryout.

His teammate on defence, Ty Nelson, also received the call from Hockey Canada.

Nelson remembers growing up watching players like Jordan Eberle, Connor McDavid, John Tavares and Nazem Kadri represent Canada at the tournament.

"One step is done: going to camp,” he said.

“The next step is getting to camp and showing myself and trying to make that team."

Battalion GM Adam Dennis said the team's loss for a few weeks would be Canada’s gain.

“They're both battle-tested and what they've gone through the last few years has made them ready for these moments,” Dennis said.

Two North Bay Battalion players -- defenceman Ty Nelson (pictured) and goaltender Domenic DiVincentiis -- are going to Hockey Canada’s selection camp for the upcoming tournament. (Photo from video)

Two North Bay Battalion players -- defenceman Ty Nelson and goaltender Domenic DiVincentiis (pictured) -- are going to Hockey Canada’s selection camp for the upcoming tournament. (Photo from video)

Head coach Ryan Oulahen had nothing but praise for both players as the camp approaches.

“This is really, really exciting. It's a very condensed camp and you just can't waste time,” Oulahen said.

“They have to be ready to be at their best right away and that's the advice that I gave them."

Both players bring a lot to the game when they are on the ice, he said.

"In terms of Ty, he's turning himself into a really good two-way defenceman,” Oulahen said.

ROUNDED INTO FORM

“He’s really rounded his game into form. Lately, over the last month or so, he's been lighting it up on the scoresheet.”

North Bay hockey fans will remember Nick Paul, the last Battalion player to compete for Canada at the World Juniors. He won gold in 2015 with NHL superstar Connor McDavid.

Two North Bay-area goalies won gold with Canada in the past, as well. Corbeil's Ben Gaudreau captured gold in Halifax last year with Connor Bedard on his team, and Colton Point was in the net in 2018 when Canada won gold in Buffalo.

The selection camp runs from Dec. 10-13 in Oakville and includes a pair of games against a team of U SPORTS all-stars.

Canada’s National Junior Team will then travel to Malmo, Sweden, on Dec. 14 for a pre-tournament camp ahead of the 2024 World Junior Championship.

The team will open its pre-tournament schedule against a U25 team from Denmark on Dec. 19 before facing Switzerland on Dec. 22 and the United States on Dec. 23.

“Hopefully if I do make that team, I’m just (going to) be able to insert myself into that lineup to help the team win,” said Nelson.

“It definitely makes it a lot more comfortable as you always have someone you can go to and talk to about anything that is going on. I do know quite a few of the guys going to the camp from all the Hockey Canada events and playing against them or playing with them.”

DiVincentiis said he’s going into the camp with a lot of confidence, an important part of a short selection process.

“Having that side of confidence in yourself and you need to show that every day you're getting better,” he said.

“At the same time, you go into it like every other practice and every other game."

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward Owen Allard also received a call to attend the tryout. Sudbury Wolves’ Dalibor Dvorsky was also named to Slovakia's preliminary roster. If he is selected for the final roster, it will mark Dvorsky's second consecutive trip to the World Juniors.

Team Canada is looking to claim the nation's third straight gold medal.

Canada starts the tournament against Finland on Boxing Day at 8 a.m. The entire tournament will be broadcast by TSN. 

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