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Stephen Harper and son stop in at Canadian junior hockey team practice

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his son Ben dropped in on the Canadian team's practice Tuesday to wish them luck at the world junior hockey championship.

Harper spoke to the Canadian players in their dressing room before he and his son went to the team's bench for a photo with the players. Ben is participating in a minor hockey tournament in the Ottawa area.

``Ben's team in the tournament is also 3-0, but their goal differential is better than ours,'' Canadian head coach Pat Quinn said. ``It was really pleasure to have our Prime Minister come and visit with these kids.

``It was a pretty quiet room while he walked around and visited with them for a short time.''

Canadian goaltender Chet Pickard was taken aback to see a dog sniffing for possible explosives in the dressing room.

``The guys were a little quiet and security was in there and everything,'' Pickard said. ``I was kind of wondering what was going on when a dog came running out.''

Canada, winner of four straight world junior titles, meets the U.S. in the final round-robin game of Pool A on Wednesday.

``(Harper) just said 'go out and compete hard,''' defenceman P.K. Subban said. ``He said everyone is behind us and he was very supportive.

``It was kind of a weird feeling. You see him on TV all the time. He's a leader of our country. He's someone a lot of people look up to, but he was really down to earth and he seemed like he was a fan. The guys appreciated him being there today.''

Harper left practice without speaking to the media.



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