ANGELHOLM, SWEDEN – Canada's Under-18 team moved onto Thursday’s semi-finals at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship after beating Russia 4-1 in its quarter-final game on Wednesday.
Jamie McGinn (Fergus, ON – Ottawa, OHL) led the way for Canada with two goals, and Justin Azevedo (London, ON – Kitchener, OHL) added three assists in Canada’s win over Russia.
Canada (3-1-1) will play Finland (3-0-1) tomorrow, Thursday, at 4:00 pm local (10am ET / 7am PT) in one of two semi-final games at the World Under-18 Championship. TSN and RDS, the official broadcaster of Hockey Canada, will carry Canada’s semi-final game LIVE at 10am ET / 7am PT. Canada tied Finland 0-0 in a preliminary round game on Monday. The Czech Republic will take on USA in Thursday’s other semi-final.
Russia opened the scoring in Wednesday’s quarter-final game when Sergey Zachupeyko scored on the power play for a 1-0 lead. Canada, despite swarming Russian goaltender Semen Varlamov with 19 shots in the first period, could not score. Canada’s defensive play held strong, only allowed eight Russian shots on goal.
Canada’s John Tavares (Oakville, ON – Oshawa, OHL) scored on the power play with 1:36 left in the second period to tie the game 1-1 after two periods of play. The goal ended a Canadian scoring drought at the tournament that lasted almost eight periods of play, more than 166 minutes.
Canada finally found its offensive spark, scoring three unanswered goals in the third period to secure a 4-1 win and advance to tomorrow’s semi-finals.
Canada took its first lead 5:02 into the third period when Jamie McGinn of the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s, scored his first of two power play goals on the night. Canada held onto the 2-1 lead for most of the third period, but then McGinn’s second goal came with 2:29 left in the game, putting the puck between the post and Russian goaltender Varlamov on the power play. Canada’s Shawn Matthias (Mississauga, ON – Belleville) scored just 32 seconds later to secure the win for Canada.
Both goaltenders turned in solid performances with Canada’s Jonathan Bernier (Laval, QC – Lewiston, QMJHL), who has played all five of Canada’s games, making 20 saves and Varlamov making 39 saves.
Canada’s Under-18 team is made up of the best available players born in 1988 or later, who are not competing, or have been eliminated in the playoffs from their respective club teams. This is the fifth year that Hockey Canada has entered a team in the April World Under-18 men's Hockey Championship. Canada won it in 2003, and finished second last year after losing to USA in the gold medal game.
Real time statistics for all of Canada’s games and all games in the Championship will be available LIVE at www.hockeycanada.ca.
Visit the official website of Hockey Canada, www.hockeycanada.ca to view Canada’s 2006 IIHF Under-18 Championship roster, schedule, team updates and more information on the event.