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Old 01-04-2008, 09:33 PM   #4
Bronx33
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KITCHENER, Ont. - Goaltender Steve Mason will join a different Ontario Hockey League team when he returns from playing for Canada at the world junior hockey championship in the Czech Republic.

The London Knights have shipped Mason to the Kitchener Rangers for two players and a selection of draft picks, the teams announced Friday.

Mason, a 19-year-old from Oakville, Ont., was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third round of the 2006 NHL entry draft.

He stopped 33 of 34 shots in Canada's 4-1 semifinal win Friday over the U.S. to help his team advance to the gold-medal game.

In Pardubice, Mason said he found out about the trade in a phone call to his parents Friday morning.

In addition to the controversy swirling over his selection as Canada's starting goaltender for the evening semifinal, Mason had to come to grips with leaving his club team of more than two seasons.

"It was just another pill to swallow," Mason said. "I had an awesome time in London and made a lot of friends. I'm going to miss by billets.

"I've got a bright future in Kitchener. They've got the Memorial Cup so obviously I'm going to a pretty good team."

Mason said he didn't want the trade to be a distraction heading into Friday night's game.

"I kind of shoved it out of the way," Mason said. "I'm not playing for London and I'm not playing for Kitchener right now. I'm playing for Team Canada."

The Knights acquired 18-year-old forward Phil Varone, 18-year-old defenceman Steve Tarasuk, picks in the second, third and fourth rounds of the 2011 OHL draft and a second-round pick in 2012.

The Rangers are the class of the OHL this season with a 31-4-1-2 record and 65 points, 21 more than London.
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