IIHF World Junior Championship
Norway vs. Canada @ HSBC Arena
Without Zach Kassian, Calvin de Haan, Jaden Schwartz, and Cody Eakin, Canada's bench looks a little roomy. The coaching staff digs deep down into their pockets of knowledge of their players to shuffle some lines up and get the goals they need to advance on and get that bye.
Norway look to break a losing streak against Canada, but things don't look too bright for them. The closest Norway has ever come to Canada was a 4-0 lost in 2006.
Olivier Roy is saved a night and saved from back-to-back games and Mark Visentin gets the nod to start in between the pipes against Norway.
After the announcement that Cody Eakin was scratched from the roster, the puck was dropped. Right away, Canada looks better than they have before. There was more calm excitement in their step and the pressure was quickly applied in the Norwegian zone. All that pressure (and a little bit of history) pays off when Casey Cizikas scores Canada's first goal of the tournament, and puts them up early. If you haven't been keeping up, that's the first time Canada has scored first so far in this year's tournament.
The lead scorer of the tournament, with (now) 8 points, Brayden Schenn scores to put Canada up by two! Canada came in quick and scored one more for his point-count.
Although it doesn't look like it on the scoreboard, Norway has tried to keep it close with Canada. Six minutes into the game, Norway and Canada are even in shots, it's just that Canada has had the better goaltending.
Despite Norway's good efforts (and they are good efforts) Erik Gudbranson gets some whip on shot and sends the puck behind Steffen Soberg who wasn't expecting that shot to come at him with such speed.
Louis Leblanc comes back for Canada and tried to do what he does in the QMJHL: score. That he did and got another goal to add to his name. But Norway answered back 8 seconds later. A face-off win started it all and Rasmus Juell beat Dylan Olsen (who has been looking a bit wonky this game) and scores a sneaky one past Visentin to put Norway up on the board. Not one to stay quiet, Brayden Schenn gets his second of the net with a squeaky one past Soberg and runs him out of his net. Canada, give Lars Volden a Canadian welcome.
After Norway tried to jam it in past Visentin on one end, Visentin keeps it out and started a play for the Canadians. Marcus Foligno skated down the other end and scored a quick one, welcoming Volden properly.
I bet we all saw this coming. Brayden Schenn with the hat-trick! Just a simple snapper release that bites Volden's body before bouncing into the back of the mesh, and starts the scoring of the second just 44 seconds in. Ryan Ellis got an assist on the hat-trick goal and became the leader of all-time points in the WJHC. But other than the hat-trick goal, the game was a lot calmer and toned down in the second.
In the dying minutes of the third, Brayden Schenn gets his fourth goal of the game and joins the ranks of Mario Lemieux and Simon Gagne. Schenn dived over the stick of a Norwegian and got to the puck to cash it in! And that gave Sean Couturier a jolt and got his first goal of the tournament, getting the tip-in on Tyson Barrie's shot.
After Couturier's goal, Schenn was yelling on the bench, "Let's get 10!" That's just what they did. Erik Gudbranson scored again, broke the score to double-digits, and made the game 10-1 over Norway!
Player of the game: Erik Gudbranson (CAN), Tobias Skaarberg (NOR)
My 3 stars:
(1) Brayden Schenn
(2) Tyson Barrie
(3) Lars Volden (come on! He may not have faced as many shots [not sure on that] as Soberg, but he only allowed two in!)
Brayden Schenn: 4 G, 1 A Rasmus Juell: 1 G
Marcus Foligno: 1 G, 1 A
Louis Leblanc: 1 G, 1 A
Erik Gudbranson: 2 G, 1 A
Casey Cizikas: 1 G
Sean Couturier: 1 G
Ryan Ellis: 3 A
Quinton Howden: 2 A
Brett Connolly: 2 A
Ryan Johansen: 2 A
Dylan Olsen: 1 A
Tyson Barrie: 1 A
Simon Despres: 1 A