CANADA BEATS SWEDEN AT SHOWCASE
PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Akil Thomas (Toronto, Ont./Niagara, OHL) and Gabriel Fortier (Lachine, Que./Baie-Comeau, QMJHL) registered a goal and an assist apiece to vault Canada to a 5-2 win over Sweden on Friday at Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp.
Benoît-Olivier Groulx (Gatineau, Que./Halifax, QMJHL), Connor McMichael (Ajax, Ont./London, OHL) and Carson Focht (Regina, Sask./Calgary, WHL) also scored and Aidan Dudas (Parry Sound, Ont./Owen Sound, OHL) chipped in three assists for Canada, which built a 3-0 lead by the halfway point of the game.
Hunter Jones (Brantford, Ont./Peterborough, OHL) stopped all eight shots he faced in his 30 minutes of work, while Olivier Rodrigue (Chicoutimi, Que./Moncton, QMJHL) fended off 15 of 17 Swedish attempts.
The Canadians set the tone in the first period with a tenacious brand of hockey, taking away time and space from the Swedes.
The hard-working approach paid dividends; Thomas tipped in a Justin Barron (Halifax, N.S./Halifax, QMJHL) shot from the blue-line for a 1-0 Canadian lead 18 seconds into the game, and Groulx doubled the advantage by going top shelf from the slot midway through the period.
Offensive momentum persisted for Canada in the first 10 minutes of period two, culminating in an on-the-doorstep backhand goal from Fortier just shy of the midway mark.
Sweden dialed up the pressure in the attacking zone, which led to four-straight power-play opportunities; Philip Broberg took advantage by striking with under four minutes left to play in the middle frame.
Canada seized control back at the eight-minute mark of the third as McMichael deflected in a drive from Nolan Foote (Kelowna, B.C./Kelowna, WHL) from the deep slot for a five-on-three goal.
Focht put Canada ahead by four with an empty-net goal, but David Gustafsson chipped the Swedish deficit down to three again with 36 seconds left on the clock.
Canada closes out the Summer Showcase with a rematch against the United States on Saturday (4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT). The Canadians downed the U.S. 4-1 in its camp opener Tuesday.