Tyrell itching for another shot

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Adam Hawboldt
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Prince George standout among WHLers auditioning during ADT Challengs

Dana Tyrell is no stranger to international hockey.

Tyrell itching for another shot

Dana Tyrell is no stranger to international hockey.

In the summer of 2007, the five-foot-11 centre from Airdrie, Alta., was a member of the Team Canada squad that squashed the Russians 7-0-1 during the eight-game Canada/Russia Super Series.

Two months later, Tyrell - who stars for the Western Hockey League's Prince George Cougars - was again asked to lace up his skates against the Russians for an ADT Canada Russia Challenge game in Cranbrook, B.C.

Needless to say, all that international competition left a lasting impression on the 19-year-old pivot.

"Both the Super Series and the ADT Challenge were a great experience," said Tyrell, who was selected 47th overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2007 NHL entry draft. "The level of competition was quite higher (than the WHL) ... it was a ton of fun."

However, the international fun ended for Tyrell in December after he was invited to Canada's world junior team selection camp, only to be cut.

"Unfortunately I didn't make the team," he said. "That was kind of disappointing."

But Tyrell didn't let the disappointment get to him.

Instead, he returned to Prince George and led his team in scoring with 65 points in 68 games.

Determined to get another crack at the world junior roster, Tyrell continued his solid play through the beginning of the 2008-09 season.

Not only does he lead his team in scoring, but with 17 goals and 17 assists in 25 contests Tyrell sits 10th in the WHL with 34 points.

"Team-wise things aren't going too well this year," said Tyrell, whose Cougars are in the basement of the B.C. Division. "But on a personal level I think I'm doing pretty good."

Good enough, in fact, to remain on Hockey Canada's radar and be selected to play in this year's ADT Challenge. The WHL all-stars meet Team Russia tonight in Swift Current and Thursday in Prince Albert. Game time is 7 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre.

Tyrell hopes to use this two-game set as a springboard to land another invitation to the national junior team's camp.

"These two games are huge," he said. "I have another chance to make it this year and I want to show the (Hockey Canada) coaching staff and management what I can do.

"I want to show them I belong on that team."

ahawboldt@paherald.sk.ca

Organizations: Western Hockey League, ADT Challenge, Team Canada Russia Super Series ADT Canada Russia Challenge Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Hockey Canada B.C. Division Art Hauser Centre

Geographic location: Prince George, Canada, Airdrie Cranbrook Swift Current Prince Albert

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