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Calgary Herald article (Stone makes case for world junior call-up)

October 26 2009 at 7:12 AM
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N. W. Bruin  (Login NW_Bruin_GM)

 
Stone makes case for world junior call-up

By Kristen Odland, Calgary Herald

October 26, 2009

Michael Stone (centre) celebrates his winning goal with Tyler Fiddler (left) and Matt MacKenzie on Sunday.
Photograph by: Lorraine Hjalte, Calgary Herald, Calgary HeraldCalgary 2 Seattle 1

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Michael Stone wanted his game to do the talking--and it said a lot about him Sunday afternoon.

Playing defensively sound hockey, as per usual, the 19-year-old Phoenix Coyotes prospect nabbed the game winner for the Calgary Hitmen in a 2-1 defensive battle with the Seattle Thunderbirds at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

Overlooked and not invited to the Canadian junior team's tryouts this summer, Stone made a point this fall to get himself noticed before December's final selection camp.

And luckily, among the 7,456 fans at the game, Hockey Canada's junior, under-18 and under-17 programs head scout Al Murray was in the house evaluating possible Western Hockey League candidates.

"I've got confidence in myself, I just need to show people that I can play on that team," Stone said. "I want to play the same way every night.

"Obviously, I was kind of disappointed when I didn't get invited this summer so I wanted to come out and prove that I should be there."

He's not alone.

Still trying to prove they deserve a red, white, and green (?)Canadian jersey are Hitmen netminder Martin Jones and WHL points leader Brandon Kozun, who attended the national team's summer audition.

Neither went unnoticed in Sunday's victory, which improved Canada's No. 2 -ranked junior team to 12-3 and was Calgary's fifth in a row. Seattle dropped to 3-9-0-1.

Jones, making his first start since a 6-3 road win Tuesday night against the Red Deer Rebels, turned aside 11 of 12 shots in the winning effort. With the victory, he passed Dan Spence for most career victories by a Hitmen goaltender (78).

Meanwhile, Kozun--who currently has eight goals, 19 assists and is a plus-9--set up Stone's goal halfway into the third period on the WHL's No. 1 ranked power-play unit, which went five-for-six during a 5-2 victory against the Oil Kings at Rexall Place Friday night.

"We were just looking for a goal," said Stone, who has six goals and seven assists in 13 games. "We were working it on that power play, me and Kozie back and forth. I tried him back-door, he kind of juggled it. He tried me back-door, I managed to get enough on it to put it in. I was excited. I think he was too.

"We have a really good power play," he added.

"If I continue to play well on the power play, things will happen. I think people know what I can do, I just need to continue it."

Calgary's Tyler Fiddler opened scoring in the first period, before Prab Rai replied in the second for Seattle.

kodland@theherald. canwest.com

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

 
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