Shortreed made most of time at ‘Challenge’

Dan Falloon

Fort Frances Lakers’ goalie Jameson Shortreed is keeping a positive face on his experience at the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge in Penticton, B.C. earlier this month.
The 17-year-old Emo native saw only saw a little over 30 minutes of game action at the tournament, in which his Canada West squad finished fourth.
Still, Shortreed was thrilled to have gotten the chance to be among the top junior ‘A’ players from the five competing countries.
“It was just a good experience for me,” he enthused. “The hockey down there is so fast.”
Shortreed, the defending SIJHL goalie-of-the-year, also put his qualification for the team in perspective. Many young players dream of wearing a Team Canada jersey in game action, although a small percentage ever do.
“Just being able to represent Canada was a huge honour—to put the Maple Leaf on,” he remarked.
“Not many guys got a chance to do that.”
Shortreed’s only ice time came Nov. 5 when Canada West faced Canada East in the first pre-tournament action for both teams.
He stopped all eight shots he faced in the first period, but Canada East then blitzed for five goals in less than 10 minutes before Matthew Krahn came on in relief.
“It was really fast. I had a really strong first period, I made eight saves, but then the second period wasn’t my best,” Shortreed conceded.
“It was just a good experience to be able to play that level of hockey and get a feel for it, and see how fast the game is,” he reasoned.
The 19-year-old Krahn never vacated the net after that, playing the five remaining games on Canada West’s schedule.
“I decided I was going to make the most of it,” Shortreed said. “I just went down there and practised hard and warmed up hard.
“I tried to stay positive on the bench and cheer the guys on.”
Shortreed also noted coach Larry Wintoneak’s decision was necessary as Krahn was playing well.
“I would have liked to have gotten back in the net, but he’s looking out for the best interests of the team,” Shortreed stressed.
“We went down there to win a gold medal, and if the other goalie’s playing good, that’s who we’ve got to go with.”
A pair of results that may have surprised Canadian fans is that Canada West dropped both games to Switzerland—losing 5-4 in overtime in the preliminary round before getting spanked 8-3 in the bronze-medal game.
“We didn’t play too well against them,” Shortreed noted. “We had defensive zone breakdowns and neutral zone turnovers, and that cost us late in the game.”
A couple of fans in Penticton were impressed with Shortreed’s demeanour off the ice.
“He made a special point at the training camp to chat with my eight-year-old son, Taylor, a number of times and waited specially to pose for a picture with him when he asked,” Melissa Jones wrote on the Fort Frances Lakers’ Facebook page.
“My son was so happy to hear that Jameson made the Team Canada West team and cheered them all on during the tournament,” Jones added.
“Jameson then again went out of his way to come back out of the dressing room after the last game was over to sign his jersey.
“[It] really made Taylor’s day to have his ‘friend’ go to that effort for a little fan,” she noted.
Shortreed, meanwhile, said he was able to bond with his teammates and hopes to be on the team again for the 2011 tournament.
“It was really interesting,” he remarked. “I met a lot of neat guys. We all came together.
“We all became good friends, became a family.”