Knapp to miss start; Nats wrap up

Written By Kris Baker on Saturday, August 15, 2009 | 8/15/2009

Miami RedHawks netminder Connor Knapp will miss his turn in the starting rotation as Team USA closes its four-game exhibition with Russia on Saturday at the U20 Evaluation. Knapp, the Sabres 6th round pick this past June, injured his right knee on the opening day of camp and was deemed 'not ready' by coach Dean Blais after seeing light work 0n Thursday. Each of the four goaltenders in camp were expected to see a full 60-minute contest. The circumstances are undoubtedly disappointing for the 6'5 sophomore, as a sharp start could have made for a strong closing impression just one night after Brandon Maxwell (COL) allowed six goals on 17 shots in a 6-4 loss. The injury and poor showing by Maxwell seem to have created some space for the other two camp goalies, Mike Lee (PHX) and Jack Campbell, heading into the 2009-10 season. St. Cloud bound Lee manned the 8-1 opening night victory, while Michigan recruit Campbell played well in Wednesday's 6-1 win. It is unclear who will assume Knapp's slot in the finale. When things were heating up for the Americans in Lake Placid, teams Red and White split a pair of games in Saskatoon as Canada wrapped up their U20 camp last weekend. Throughout the two games, White's Luke Adam did what he does best by producing offense. The 6'2 forward deftly backhanded a pass to a streaking Louis Leblanc to set up a goal in Saturday's 5-2 win. The next night, he awed those in attendance by freezing a defender and roofing a quick wrister over Matt Hackett's shoulder. Adam gave it his best amongst a talented group of forwards and is no doubt better from the experience. Returning blueliner Tyler Myers was controlling in both ends for Team White and is essentially a lock to be part of Canada's leadership core if not on the Sabres roster. The 6'8 defenseman pointed in Sunday's 5-3 loss when a rebound of his power-play point shot was buried by Ryan O'Reilly (COL) to open scoring. Sabres' 2009 blue-chipper Zack Kassian did not register a point all weekend for the Reds, but was a tone-setter with his physical style and willingness to battle. Canada brought lots of beef to camp, and Kassian did not disappoint. After previously lining up with Philippe Cornet (EDM) and Adam Henrique (NJ), the 6'3 Kassian skated third-line minutes with 6'4 Josh Brittain (ANA) and 6'5 Joe Colborne (BOS) in Sunday's win. The Pete's banger made a solid impression, teeing up fellow OHLer Matt Clark with attitude while seeming to be in general disagreement with young gun Evander Kane (ATL) as the game progressed. Kassian did have a role in the biggest camp dust up, as it was his feed to Jordan Caron (BOS) on Saturday that gave Colten Tuebert (LA) the space to knock the QMJHL forward out of commission for 6-8 weeks with a blindside open-ice hit. Per the video, Kassian opted for discipline over natural instinct when considering a retort.

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