Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Makar, Ferraro off to Ontario to compete for Team Canada’s World Junior hockey team

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(Amelia Shaw/Daily Collegian)

Last year inside the Bell Centre, home of the Montreal Canadiens, Team Canada suffered a 5-4 shootout loss against the United States in the gold medal game at the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Under-20 World Junior Hockey Championships.

Massachusetts hockey freshmen Cale Makar and Mario Ferraro now find themselves with an opportunity to represent and redeem their country after both were chosen among 32 others to attend Team Canada’s roster selection camp, running from Dec.12-15 in St. Catharines, Ontario. The duo counts for two of the 10 defensemen chosen for the roster.

“It’s a pretty big goal of mine to make it to that level,” Makar said last week. “Just knowing the history with that team and everything that comes with it is pretty special.”

The upcoming 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship is set to be held in Buffalo, New York where the final squad of 23 players will compete and represent Canada on one of the grandest stages in all of amateur hockey.

Team Canada chose four total NCAA players in its initial selection, and Makar and Ferraro make up half of that selection.

“It’s a big statement about our program,” head coach Greg Carvel said. “They came here for a reason and we promised that we’d develop them.”

Makar has accumulated nine points so far in a single goal and eight assists for UMass. The Calgary, Alberta native was one of the first 11 players chosen for the camp, all of whom were first-round picks.

With eight points (three goals, five assists) and a team-high 27 blocks, Ferraro found his exceptional performance at the start of the season to be substantial enough to qualify in one of the more surprising moves for Team Canada.

“Cale, not surprising, but Mario I think he’s earned this,” Carvel said. “It’s pretty impressive, being a kid playing U.S. college hockey that wasn’t on the radar this summer.

“It’s quite a statement about what he’s done here in a short time,” Carvel added.

The King City, Ontario native was one of four defensemen that didn’t attend the summer sessions to be invited to the selection camp, showcasing just how much the 5-foot-10 freshman has resonated in the Hockey East Association.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity and I’m going to make the most of it,” Ferraro said Dec. 7. “Everyone really wants to be there. At the end of the day, that’s what it comes down to is who works harder and who wants it more.”

The games commence on Dec. 26 and will run until Dec. 31. The official battle for a medal then begins Jan. 2 until Jan. 5. If the Minutemen are fortunate enough to make the squad and Canada is successful, the pair could potentially miss Jan. 5 game at Yale and Jan. 6 game at UMass-Lowell.

Mollie Walker can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at MWalker2019.

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