When Team Canada opens the 2021 IIHF World Hockey Championship on Friday in Riga, Latvia, a pair of players with ties to Sault Ste. Marie will be a part of the action.
Sault Ste. Marie native, and former Soo Greyhounds captain, Colin Miller and former Greyhounds forward Michael Bunting were among the 25 players selected to represent the country at the annual event.
Miller is coming off his second season with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres where he scored four goals and 12 points in 48 games.
The 28-year-old has played in 349 career NHL games, split between the Sabres, Vegas Golden Knights, and Boston Bruins.
Miller spent three seasons with the Greyhounds from 2010 to 2013, which included a 20-goal, 55-point season in his final year with the club.
Bunting, 25, played in 25 games this season with the Arizona Coyotes, scoring 10 goals and 13 points.
A former fourth round pick of the Coyotes, Bunting played a pair of seasons with the Greyhounds after being selected by the team in the 9th round of the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.
Also, Sault native Domenic Nicoletta has been named one of two athletic therapists for the Canadian team at the tournament.
Nicoletta has spent 14 seasons with the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, including the past three as the head therapist for the team.
Nicoletta was also on the staff for Team Canada at the 2019 Worlds.
Another Sault native will also be suiting up in the tournament as Brett Perlini will play with Team Great Britain.
Perlini finished the 2020-21 season with the Nottingham Panthers of the Elite Ice Hockey League in the United Kingdom.
Perlini started the season playing in Italy with Val Pusteria before joining the Panthers to finish the season.
The 30-year-old is no stranger to the Panthers, having played three seasons with the team from 2017 to 2020 as well.
The 2021 tournament will be the third time Perlini has represented Great Britain, having suited up in the 2019 tournament and the 2018 event as well in which the country earned promotion from the Division I, Group A tournament.
Team Canada will open the tournament on Friday against Latvia at 1 p.m. eastern time while Great Britain opens on Saturday against Team Russia at 9 a.m. eastern time.