Moose Jaw Warriors captain Brett Howden (Tampa Bay Lighting) tallied the opening goal and finished with four points as Canada advanced to the semi-finals at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship Tuesday with an 8-2 win over Switzerland.
Kelowna Rockets forward and Team Canada captain Dillon Dube (Calgary Flames) also scored in the victory while Regina Pats captain Sam Steel (Anaheim Ducks) earned his six point of the tournament on an assist to remain tied for second in team scoring.
Swift Current Broncos forward Tyler Steenbergen (Arizona Coyotes) picked up an assist on Canada’s sixth goal Tuesday for his first point of the tournament.
It was Howden who kick-started Canada’s offensive efforts though, taking a sweet cross-ice feed on a two-on-one from Maxime Comtois just 48 seconds into the game to get Canada on the board.
First period goals from Cale Makar and Drake Batherson added to Canada’s lead, giving them a 3-0 advantage after 20 minutes. In the second, goals from Batherson, Jordan Kyrou and Conor Timmins added to Canada’s advantage, though Switzerland would find their way onto the scoresheet with Dario Rohrbach answering back for the European nation.
Axel Simic gave Switzerland a short-handed goal midway through the third, but the result was never in doubt as Dube and Comtois added late goals to wrap up the victory, ensuring Canada would play for a medal.
Two of Canada’s eight goals came via the power play Tuesday.
Everett Silvertips goaltender Carter Hart (Philadelphia Flyers) stopped 13 of 15 shots in a relatively light 60 minutes of work.
Canada will now advance to the semi-finals at the tournament, with a date Thursday, January 4 against the Czech Republic.
Four other games took place on quarterfinal Tuesday at the tournament. The Czech Republic topped Finland 4-3 in a shootout. Sweden topped Slovakia by a 3-2 final and Denmark came back in the third period with the help of Portland Winterhawks forward Joachim Blichfeld (San Jose Sharks), winning 5-4 in relegation action. The last quarter-final of the day saw the United States taking on Russia. Stats will be updated for that game once they become available.
F Igor Martynov, Victoria Royals: 5GP – 2-1-3 – 5 SOG
F Vladislav Mikhalchuk, Prince George Cougars: 5GP – 0-0-0 – 1 SOG
D Vladislav Yeryomenko, Calgary Hitmen: 5GP – 1-2-3 – 7 SOG
D Jake Bean, Calgary Hitmen: 5GP – 0-2-2 – 10 SOG
D Kale Clague, Brandon Wheat Kings: 4GP – 0-1-1 – 12 SOG
F Dillon Dube, Kelowna Rockets: 5GP – 2-1-3 – 20 SOG
D Cal Foote, Kelowna Rockets: 5GP – 0-3-3 – 1 SOG
G Carter Hart, Everett Silvertips: 4GP – 1.96 GAA, .920 SV%, 92/100, 1SO
F Brett Howden, Moose Jaw Warriors: 5GP – 3-3-6 – 12 SOG
F Sam Steel, Regina Pats: 5GP – 3-3-6 – 14 SOG
F Tyler Steenbergen, Swift Current Broncos: 5GP – 0-1-1 – 4 SOG
D Vojtech Budik, Prince Albert Raiders: 5GP – 0-4-4 – 2 SOG
D Libor Hajek, Saskatoon Blades: 5GP – 1-6-7 – 11 SOG
D Filip Kral, Spokane Chiefs: 5GP – 1-0-1 – 6 SOG
F Kristian Reichel, Red Deer Rebels: 5GP – 3-1-4 – 9 SOG
D Ondrej Vala, Kamloops Blazers: 5GP – 0-0-0 – 6 SOG
F Joachim Blichfeld, Portland Winterhawks: 5GP – 3-1-4 – 22 SOG
F Aleksi Heponiemi, Swift Current Broncos: 5GP – 2-0-2 – 8 SOG
D Henri Jokiharju, Portland Winterhawks: 5GP – 2-2-4 – 19 SOG
D Juuso Valimaki, Tri-City Americans: 5GP – 1-3-4 – 11 SOG
D Artyom Minulin, Swift Current Broncos: 3GP – 0-0-0 – 5 SOG
D Martin Bodak, Kootenay ICE: 5GP – 3-0-3 – 9 SOG
F Milos Roman, Vancouver Giants: 5GP – 2-0-2 – 8 SOG
F Justin Sigrist, Kamloops Blazers: 5GP – 0-1-1 – 5 SOG
F Kieffer Bellows, Portland Winterhawks: 3GP – 4-0-2 – 16 SOG
F Kailer Yamamoto, Spokane Chiefs: 3GP – 1-0-1 – 7 SOG