CANADA ROLLS PAST BELARUS, STAY PERFECT AT U18 WORLDS
JASON LA ROSE
UMEÅ, Sweden – Dylan Cozens (Whitehorse, Y.T./Lethbridge, WHL) scored two goals and set up three others, and Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team cruised past Belarus 11-1 on Sunday at the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship.
The win keeps Canada perfect, and puts it in the driver’s seat for first place in Group A with one preliminary-round game remaining.
Alex Newhook (St. John’s, N.L./Victoria, BCHL) added two goals and an assist, Peyton Krebs (Okotoks, Alta./Winnipeg, WHL) had one of each and Nathan Légaré (Montreal, Que./Baie-Comeau, QMJHL) scored twice for the Canadians, who led 3-0 after one period and were up 8-0 late in the second.
Nolan Maier (Yorkton, Sask./Saskatoon, WHL) made 41 saves to earn the win in his first start of the tournament.
The power play went to work early; Philip Tomasino (Mississauga, Ont./Niagara, OHL) found Connor Zary (Saskatoon, Sask./Kamloops, WHL) at the top of the crease, and he redirected the opening goal past goaltender Rostislav Zinovenko just 4:24 in.
Jordan Spence (Cornwall, P.E.I./Moncton, QMJHL) doubled the lead at 13:36, finishing a give-and-go with Jamieson Rees (Hamilton, Ont./Sarnia, OHL), and Newhook knocked in a loose puck in the dying seconds after a missed poke-check by Zinovenko to send Canada to the intermission up 3-0.
The offensive onslaught continued in the second period, and it started early; Braden Schneider (Prince Albert, Sask./Brandon, WHL) jumped into the rush to score shorthanded just 34 seconds into the middle frame, and Newhook and Légaré added goals 40 seconds apart to make it 6-0 before the midway mark of the period.
The Légaré goal marked the end for Zinovenko, who allowed six goals on 32 shots.
Cozens got his first at 7:28, burying his own rebound past new netminder Alexei Kolosov, and Krebs snuck behind the defence to net the 8-0 goal only 17 seconds after that.
Belarus finally got one past Maier when Vitali Pinchuk converted on a power play, but that was all for offence from the Europeans.
Cozens netted his second early in the third period, tipping in a set-up from Newhook on a Canadian power play, before late man-advantage goals from Légaré and Samuel Poulin (Blainville, Que./Sherbrooke, QMJHL) finished the scoring.
Canada outshot Belarus 60-42.
After an off day, the Canadians will look to wrap up top spot in the Group A when they close out the preliminary round Tuesday against the Czech Republic (1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT).