WELLS GETS SHUTOUT, CANADA STAYS PERFECT AT HLINKA CUP
JASON LA ROSE
BRECLAV, Czech Republic – Dylan Wells (St. Catharines, Ont./Peterborough, OHL) turned away all 21 shots he faced, leading Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team to a 2-0 win over Sweden on Tuesday at the 2015 U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup.
The win keeps Canada atop Group A with an unblemished 2-0 record.
Michael McLeod (Mississauga, Ont./Mississauga, OHL) and William Bitten (Gloucester, Ont./Flint, OHL), into an empty net, scored for Canada, which has not allowed a goal in 116:42, going back to the first period of its tournament opener Monday against the Czech Republic.
Wells’ shutout is the first by a Canadian goaltender at the tournament since Julio Billia blanked the United States in the 2013 gold medal game.
After a fast-paced start by both teams, Canada struck just past the midway mark of the opening period; David Quenneville (Edmonton, Alta./Medicine Hat, WHL) stepped up to keep the puck in at the Swedish blue-line and chipped it into the middle of the ice, where McLeod danced between two defenders before going five-hole on goaltender Filip Gustavsson for a 1-0 lead.
Wells made the goal stand up by continuously turning away quality Swedish chances, including a pair of power play opportunities in the final five minutes.
Bitten added the insurance goal with 20.7 seconds left and the Canadians facing a 6-on-4 disadvantage, spinning in his own zone and hitting the empty net from 170 feet away.
Canada will look to finish off a perfect preliminary round and assure itself of a semifinal appearance in Breclav when it takes to the ice against Switzerland on Wednesday (9:30 a.m. ET/6:30 a.m. PT).