DOMINANT FIRST PERIOD LEADS CANADA TO IVAN HLINKA GOLD
JASON LA ROSE
BRECLAV, Czech Republic – Pierre-Luc Dubois (Rimouski, Que./Cape Breton, QMJHL) scored the first two of four first-period goals, leading Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team to a 7-3 win over Sweden on Saturday and an eighth consecutive gold medal at the U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup.
The Canadians have now won 11 of the last 12 gold medals, dating back to 2004.
It was a fast and furious start for Canada; Dubois wired a shot past Swedish goaltender Filip Gustavsson just 2:28 in, and added his second at 11:17 for a 2-0 advantage.
Michael McLeod (Mississauga, Ont./Mississauga, OHL) made it 3-0 at 15:59, beating Gustavsson while falling, and Tyler Benson (Edmonton, Alta./Vancouver, WHL) buried his own rebound 55 seconds after that for a commanding four-goal lead after 20 minutes.
Canada outshot Sweden 16-1 in the decisive first period, and chased Gustavsson after the Benson goal.
Tanner Kaspick (Brandon, Man./Brandon, WHL) shoveled the 5-0 goal past back-up netminder Isak Wallin 7:14 into the second period before the Swedes finally put one past Dylan Wells (St. Catharines, Ont./Peterborough, OHL) six minutes later off the stick of Jesper Bratt.
Jordan Kyrou (Toronto, Ont./Sarnia, OHL) got that one back for Canada before the end of the second period, though, finishing a perfect cross-ice feed from Nolan Patrick (Winnipeg, Man./Brandon, WHL) for a 6-1 advantage.
The Swedes scored twice in quick succession early in the third period after Canadian captain Brett Howden (Oakbank, Man./Moose Jaw, WHL) received a five-minute major and game misconduct for slashing, but they would get no closer than three goals.
Beck Malenstyn (Ladner, B.C./Calgary, WHL) capped the scoring with 8:47 left, finishing a tic-tac-toe passing play with Dubois and Tyson Jost (Kelowna, B.C./Penticton, BCHL).
Dubois led the way offensive push with three points, while McLeod and Kaspick had a goal and an assist apiece, and Samuel Girard (Roberval, Que./Shawinigan, QMJHL) chipped in with two helpers.
Canada had a 35-18 advantage in shots on goal, and outshot its opponents 209-88 in five games.