”My Dad is my biggest fan,” says Brendan Lemieux, Team Canada winger and son of Claude

07.08.2013 | David Bohata, Derek OBrien

Perennial winners at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, Canada is expected to win and when they don´t there can be a lot of finger-pointing. For Brendan Lemieux of the OHL´s Barrie Colts, the loss to Sweden was a wake-up call, but nothing to worry about. The pressure´s on now, but it always is for the son of long-time NHLer Claude Lemieux. "That´s been the case for a long time . . . I´ve long since gotten used to it."

Day two of the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup featured two of the tournament favourites going head to head: Canada and Sweden. While the Canadians had little trouble with the Czech Republic in their first game, Sweden suffered a setback at the hands of Switzerland. Against each other, the tables turned as Sweden won 4-3 to help create a logjam in the Breclav Group.

"We lacked spark," said Canadian right winger Brendan Lemieux. "I know that the Swedes are good and have a lot of great players, but we simply need to improve for the next game. It was a more difficult game than the first one."

While the loss puts pressure on the Canadian team to win their next game against Switzerland, playing under pressure is nothing new to most of them. Playing in the shadow of a father who has won the Stanley Cup three times, that´s especially true for the younger Lemieux.

"Of course I expect a lot of eyes on me, but that´s been the case for a long time. I´m seventeen, so I´ve long since gotten used to it."

Sports run in the family. In addition to father Claude and his illustrious NHL career, Brendan´s sister Claudia is a competitive beach volleyball player.

"My parents did not push us into anything. We chose ourselves what we wanted. Since childhood I have wanted badly to play hockey, so I play it.

"My dad is my biggest fan. Both of my parents are here in Breclav, and they try to help me with everything to do with hockey."

Claude Lemieux made a sucessful career out of rubbing people the wrong way, if the younger Lemieux has learned anything from that, it´s that the only people you have to worry about pleasing are your coaches and your teammates. In that respect, he seems unimpressed by the numerous scouts in attendance at this tournament.

"Last season I played in the OHL, which a lot of scouts follow closely, so I´m used to the attention. I don´t even think about it. I´m just trying to do what the coach says to help us win."

A win against Switzerland is what Canada needs if they want to earn a berth in the semifinals and compete for a sixth straight Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup title. Lemieux is focused, but not worried.

"We´re here to win gold and we´ll do it."

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