SPECIAL TEAMS LEAD CANADA TO FIRST HLINKA WIN
JASON LA ROSE
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – Calen Addison (Brandon, Man./Lethbridge, WHL), Nolan Foote (Kelowna, B.C./Kelowna, WHL) and Jack McBain (Toronto, Ont./Toronto Jr. Canadiens, OJHL) all scored power-play goals, leading Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team to its first win at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, a 5-1 victory over Finland on Tuesday.
Joe Veleno (Kirkland, Que./Saint John, QMJHL), Ryan Merkley (Mississauga, Ont./Guelph, OHL) and Barrett Hayton (Peterborough, Ont./Sault Ste. Marie, OHL) added two assists apiece for the Canadians, who temporarily moved atop Group B with the win.
The opening goal came just past the five-minute mark; Jared McIsaac (Truro, N.S./Halifax, QMJHL) threw the puck in front for Benoît-Olivier Groulx (Gatineau, Que./Halifax, QMJHL), whose redirection gave the Canadians an early 1-0 lead.
Penalty trouble doomed the Finns in the second period.
With Canada enjoying a two-man advantage, Addison jumped in off the blue-line and finished off a feed from Merkley to make it 2-0 at 7:45.
After the Canadians survived a Finnish five-on-three, Foote wired a wrist shot past Justus Annunen at 14:40, popping the water bottle behind the goaltender to put Canada up 3-0 after two periods.
McBain pushed the lead to four goals seven minutes into the third, camping out on the doorstep and knocking in a centering pass from Veleno, before Fortier jammed in a rebound off the end-boards with five minutes to go for the fifth and final Canadian goal.
Canada held Finland without a shot for more than 18 minutes in the third period, but the Finns ruined the shutout with 1:41 left when Matias Maccelli buried a rebound past Olivier Rodrigue (Chicoutimi, Que./Drummondville, QMJHL).
The preliminary round ends Wednesday, with Canada taking on Slovakia (1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT). A win over the tournament co-hosts would send the Canadians to the semifinals on Friday.