LAZAR, MCDAVID LEAD CANADA OVER DENMARK AND INTO SEMIFINALS
TORONTO, Ont. – Curtis Lazar (Vernon, B.C./Ottawa, NHL) had two goals and an assist and Connor McDavid (Newmarket, Ont./Erie, OHL) added a goal and two assists to lead Canada’s National Junior Team over Denmark 8-0 on Friday and into the semifinals at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Next up for the Canadians is Slovakia in Sunday’s semifinals (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT). Canada scored a 7-0 win over the Slovaks in the tournament opener for both teams back on Boxing Day.
Canada also got goals from Sam Reinhart (West Vancouver, B.C./Kootenay, WHL), Lawson Crouse (Mount Brydges /Kingston, OHL), Nick Paul (Mississauga, Ont./North Bay, OHL), Brayden Point (Calgary, Alta./Moose Jaw, WHL) and Nick Ritchie (Orangeville, Ont./Peterborough, OHL).
Joe Hicketts (Kamloops, B.C./Victoria, WHL) added two assists from the blue-line.
In total, 12 players found their way onto the scoresheet in a total team performance that overwhelmed the underdog Danes.
Zachary Fucale (Rosemère, Que./Quebec, QMJHL) made 14 saves for the win and the shutout.
George Sorensen and Thomas Lillie combined to stop 42 shots for Denmark.
With Canada spending the preliminary round in Montreal, Toronto fans had adopted Denmark as their team. But with Canada in the building the Danes were booed the second they came out for their pre-game skate.
The two countries played twice before at the World Juniors (in 2008 and 2012), with Canada winning both times, 4-1 and 10-2.
Canada opened the scoring Friday night just past the halfway point of the first. McDavid drove around the Danish net, and as his defender brought him down sent a pass out front to Lazar, who beat Sorensen low.
Less than five minutes later Reinhart, from the doorstep, doubled the lead with his fourth goal of the tournament.
Three goals in a span of 5:31 in the second broke the game open.
First, Crouse showed some nifty stick work in waiting out Sorensen from the right hash mark. McDavid forced a turnover just outside the red line, drove down the left boards and tucked the puck in low to the glove side, giving Sorensen a spray along the way. Three minutes later Lazar found his way behind two defenders to take a stretch pass from Hicketts and make it 5-0.
Another three goals in the third – a driving backhand from Paul; Point finishing off a passing play through traffic with Lazar and McDavid; and Ritchie putting home a rebound – rounded out the scoring.