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Canada calling Prince George Cougars' goaltender for World Championship training camp

Taylor Gauthier short-listed to try out for Men’s National Under-18 team

A Prince George ‘Goat’ could soon make an appearance between the pipes for Canada at a world hockey event.

Cougars’ Taylor Gauthier is one of three goaltenders selected to the Men’s National Under-18 training squad ahead of the 2019 World Championships in Sweden.

The team will host the 23-man camp in Finland, reducing the roster to 20 before the start of the competition against nine other countries.

The 18-year-old is joined by Kamloops netminder Dylan Garand and Jonathan Lemieux of Val-d’Or in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).

This is the third time the Calgary product will have a chance at wearing the maple leaf on his chest.

He was the gold medal-winning goaltender for Team Canada at the 2018 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup; he came in relief midway through the first period of the final match after his team gave up an early 2-0 lead against Sweden.

Canada eventually won 6-2 thanks to Gauthier’s 16-save performance.

The other time was at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John when he played for Team Canada-White.

This season, Gauthier solidified the number-one goaltender spot on Prince George and went on to backstop 15 of the Cougars’ 19 wins, which also included three shutouts and a .899 save-percentage (SV%).

He’s currently ranked fifth among North American netminders by NHL Central Scouting and was also selected to play for Team [Don] Cherry at the 2019 NHL Prospects Game.

Gauthier becomes the second Cougar in as many days to be selected to a country’s training camp roster after Matej Toman was added to the Czech Republic’s team ahead of the Under-18 tournament.

The IIHF event takes place April 18 to 28 in Sweden.