Canada’s National Junior Team scored early and often Saturday in an 8-0 win against Denmark to clinch first place in Group A at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, NY.
Carter Hart (Philadelphia Flyers) couldn’t be beat, stopping all 18 shots. Canada’s offence was added by a trio of Western Hockey League captain in the team’s final round robin game. Moose Jaw Warriors captain Brett Howden (Tampa Bay Lightning) scored twice and Kelowna Rockets captain Cal Foote (Tampa Bay Lightning) added three assists while Regina Pats captain Sam Steel added another goal in the victory.
Robert Thomas opened the scoring in the first, but Howden and Steel also lit the lamp, scoring 2:18 apart in the final three minutes of the opening period to break open the game. Foote picked up his first assist of the game on Howden’s first goal while Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Kale Clague (Los Angeles Kings) earned a primary assist on Steel’s goal.
Both second period goals for Canada featured WHL connections. Calgary Hitmen defenceman Jake Bean (Carolina Hurricanes) picked up the lone assist on a Cale Makar goal 7:52 into the second. Howden added his second of the game 88 seconds later with Foote earning another assist.
Alex Formenton, Michael McLeod and Drake Batherson scored in the third period for Canada. Foote picked up his third and final assist of the contest on Batherson’s goal.
Hart had things on lockdown at his end of the ice, stopping four shots in the first, seven in the second and seven more in the third. Canada meanwhile peppered Denmark with 44 shots.
Portland Winterhawks forward Joachim Bichfeld (San Jose Sharks) had three shots in the contest.
Canada will now await Sunday’s final day of round robin play to figure out who they’ll take on in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, January 2.
Three other games took place Saturday at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship. In Pool B action, the Czech Republic downed Belarus 6-5 and Sweden dispatched Switzerland by a 7-2 score. In Pool A play, Finland topped Slovakia 5-2.
F Igor Martynov, Victoria Royals: 4GP – 1-1-2 – 4 SOG
F Vladislav Mikhalchuk, Prince George Cougars: 4GP – 0-1-1 – 4 SOG
D Vladislav Yeryomenko, Calgary Hitmen: 4GP – 0-2-2 – 5 SOG
D Jake Bean, Calgary Hitmen: 4GP – 0-2-2 – 7 SOG
D Kale Clague, Brandon Wheat Kings: 3GP – 0-1-1 – 9 SOG
F Dillon Dube, Kelowna Rockets: 4GP – 1-1-2 – 13 SOG
D Cal Foote, Kelowna Rockets: 4GP – 0-3-3 – 1 SOG
G Carter Hart, Everett Silvertips: 3GP – 1.95 GAA, .929 SV%, 79/85, 1SO
F Brett Howden, Moose Jaw Warriors: 4GP – 2-0-2 – 9 SOG
F Sam Steel, Regina Pats: 4GP – 3-2-5 – 11 SOG
F Tyler Steenbergen, Swift Current Broncos: 4GP – 0-0-0 – 3 SOG
D Vojtech Budik, Prince Albert Raiders: 3GP – 0-2-2 – 0 SOG
D Libor Hajek, Saskatoon Blades: 3GP – 1-3-4 – 6 SOG
D Filip Kral, Spokane Chiefs: 3GP – 1-0-1 – 3 SOG
F Kristian Reichel, Red Deer Rebels: 3GP – 0-1-1 – 4 SOG
D Ondrej Vala, Kamloops Blazers: 3GP – 0-0-0 – 3 SOG
F Joachim Blichfeld, Portland Winterhawks: 3GP – 0-0-0 – 7 SOG
F Aleksi Heponiemi, Swift Current Broncos: 3GP – 2-0-2 – 4 SOG
D Henri Jokiharju, Portland Winterhawks: 3GP – 2-1-3 – 13 SOG
D Juuso Valimaki, Tri-City Americans: 3GP – 1-2-3 – 7 SOG
D Artyom Minulin, Swift Current Broncos: 3GP – 0-0-0 – 5 SOG
D Martin Bodak, Kootenay ICE: 3GP – 1-0-1 – 5 SOG
F Milos Roman, Vancouver Giants: 3GP – 0-0-0 – 6 SOG
F Justin Sigrist, Kamloops Blazers: 3GP – 0-1-1 – 3 SOG
F Kieffer Bellows, Portland Winterhawks: 3GP – 4-0-2 – 16 SOG
F Kailer Yamamoto, Spokane Chiefs: 3GP – 1-0-1 – 7 SOG