HUGE FIRST PERIOD LEADS CANADA RED PAST SWEDEN AT U17S
JASON LA ROSE
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Antoine Morand (Mercier, Que..Acadie-Bathurst, QMJHL) scored twice in a dominant first period as Canada Red topped Sweden 4-1 on Monday night in preliminary round action at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
The win leaves the Canadians as the lone undefeated team in Group B; it can clinch first place with a win over Russia in Tuesday night’s preliminary round finale at North Peace Arena (7 p.m. MT).
Josh Brook (Roblin, Man./Moose Jaw, WHL) and Joël Teasdale (Beloeil, Que./Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL) did the rest of the scoring for Red, which jumped all over Sweden in the first period, outshooting the Scandinavians 18-2 and taking a 3-0 lead to the intermission.
Morand got it started at 6:56, wiring a wrist shot over the glove of Swedish goaltender Arvid Söderblom off the left wing, and Brook blasted a point shot through traffic and through Söderblom on a Canadian power play just over eight minutes later.
Red clicked again with the man advantage at 17:19, Jordan Bellerive (North Vancouver, B.C./Lethbridge, WHL) spun in the slot and got his shot through, and Morand was there to bury the rebound for his second of the period.
Olle Eriksson Ek replaced Söderblom to start the second period and the Swedes came out firing, outshooting Red 11-9. But just as he did in Sunday’s tournament-opening win over Finland, netminder Michael DiPietro (Amherstburg, Ont,/Windsor, OHL) always had the answer, keeping the Swedish offence at bay.
Teasdale added to the lead with just 5.1 seconds left in the period; he tried to feed MacKenzie Entwistle (Georgetown, Ont./Hamilton, OHL) on a 2-on-0, but the puck bounced off a Swedish defenceman and past Eriksson Ek for a 4-0 advantage through 40 minutes.
The Swedes continued to press in the third period and finally beat DiPietro at the 7:33 mark, with Timothy Liljegren rifling a wrist shot over the Canadian goaltender’s blocker.
That would be it for the offence, though, and Red dropped Sweden to 0-2.
An all-Nordic match-up is the other game on the Tuesday schedule as Sweden meets Finland (2:30 p.m. MT).