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Prince George Cougars goaltender staying with Canada at Worlds

Taylor Gauthier makes Men’s Under-18 National team for competition in Sweden
Taylor Gauthier Canada U18
Prince George Cougars goaltender Taylor Gauthier in Team Canada's uniform for the 2019 Men's Under-18 World Championships (via Hockey Canada)

Taylor Gauthier will officially don the maple leaf for a third time in his career.

The Prince George Cougar has been announced as one of the goaltenders to compete for Canada at the 2019 Men’s Under-18 World Championships in Sweden starting tomorrow (April 18) and on until April 28.

"It's a huge honour to wear the maple leaf for a third time," said Gauthier in a Cougars social media post. "Growing up, I dreamt of representing Team Canada and I'm excited to compete with some of the best players in my age group."

The 18-year-old was initially invited to Hockey Canada’s selection camp 12 days ago hoping to land a spot between the pipes during the training sessions in Finland.

He started in his country’s second pre-tournament game on Monday (April 15), making 32 saves on 36 shots against Russia in a 5-4 win.

The Calgary product faced 18 shots in the third period alone in that contest, giving up just one goal.

Fans will see Gauthier as one of three netminders to make Canada’s 23-man roster, including his fellow Western Hockey League (WHL) competitor Nolan Maier of the Saskatoon Blades.

Gauthier came in place of Maier in the gold medal game of the 2018 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup, stopping 16 shots in his place en route to helping Team Canada win the tournament.

He was recently ranked seventh among North American goaltenders in the NHL’s final Central Scouting report, dropping two spots from fifth place.

There’s also a chance Gauthier could suit up against a Cougar teammate as Matej Toman officially made the Czech Republic squad on Tuesday.