Facing their toughest test of the tournament yet, Canada put forth a steady performance and cruised to a 5-1 win over Czech Republic.
Canucks prospect Michael DiPietro made 23 saves in the win, while 12 different Canadians found the scoresheet. All four lines were effective in front of the 17,100 red-and-white clad fans at Rogers Arena, and it was difficult for the Czechs to find any real holes in the Canadian’s game.
Morgan Frost (1g, 1a), Ty Smith (0g, 2a), Jack Studnicka (0g, 2a), all had multi-point performances.
None were prettier than Owen Tippett’s no look pass that set up to Maxime Comtois for Canada’s first of the night. The Panthers prospect has been buzzing all tournament, and baited two defenders before finding Comtois streaking to the near post:
The Czechs would respond quickly though, scoring just 37 seconds after to tie the game. After a broken play in the defensive zone, the Czechs broke loose for a 2-on-1 and the cross crease pass found winger Ondrej Machada who made no mistake.
Canada would reclaim their lead nearly 6 minutes later after a point shot by Ty Smith was deftly redirected by Brett Leason to make it 2-1.
Alexis Lafreniere then picked the top corner off a great one time feed from Jason Studnicka to take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.
It was in the second period that DiPietro had to come up with some timely goaltending, robbing the Czechs on a few chances from in close:
The Canadians never looked back from there.
MacKenzie Entwistle continued to cement his status as an unsung hero, scoring his 3rd of the tournament to make it 4-1.
Morgan Frost then buried a sublime feed from Montreal Canadiens prospect Nick Suzuki – doing nothing to disencourage fans at Rogers Arena to keep on with his latest nickname: Frosty the Goalman.
The victory keeps the Canadians atop group A with 9 points.
Swedes fend off late game charge from Americans
If there hasn’t been a game of the tournament yet, last night’s tilt between Sweden and USA surely fits the bill.
Sweden was completely in control for the entirety of the game, taking a 4-0 lead until the third period.
With 10 minutes left in the game though, the Americans – particularly Canadiens prospect Ryan Poehling – came alive.
After Mikey Anderson (Los Angeles) buried a one-timer effort to inject some life, Poehling did the rest.
He scored his first on the power play with 7 minutes left to make it 4-2, then waited until the final minute to complete the American comeback. With the extra attacker out, Poehling buried a broken play off a rebound to cut the deficit to one.
Then, after a miscue from a Swedish defender, the American forecheck won the puck, found Poehling on the right side, and he made no mistake to tie the game and complete the natural hat trick.
That was as far as the American dream would get though.
With just over a minute to play in 3-on-3 overtime, an American turnover at the offensive blueline offered a 2-on-1 for the Swedes. Lucas Elvenes (Vegas) and Blackhawks prospect Adam Boqvist made no mistake to squash the American hopes of stealing victory:
The victory keeps Sweden at the top of Group B with 8 points.