In front of a raucous Toronto crowd, Canada dominated Denmark, the Cinderella-story of the World Junior Championship, 8-0 on Friday.
Canada got off to a hot start thanks to goals from captain Curtis Lazar – who has scored in four straight games - and Sam Reinhart, but also experienced a concerning moment when Robby Fabbri went down to a lower-body injury in the first period.
Fabbri has been one of Canada’s top point-getters in the tournament, so the loss could be a substantial one.
The Canadians added to their lead in the second period thanks to a goals from draft-eligible Lawson Crouse, who has been impressive at the tournament on Canada’s fourth line, and Connor McDavid, next season’s potential No.1 draft pick. Lazar also added his second of the game with 6:39 left in the period to make it 5-0 after an exceptional pass from defenseman Joe Hicketts. The pass was so sweet that Lazar even blew Hicketts a thank you kiss.
Nick Paul added a nifty backhand goal in the third period to continue to build the Canadian lead, and Brayden Point added his first of the tournament making it 7-0 for Canada, which forced the Danes to pull goaltender Georg Sorensen in favour of Thomas Lillie. Nick Ritchie added a late power play goal to cement the victory.
The Danes never gave up, but the Canadians were too much and walked away with an easy win. Canada moves onto the semi-finals to play Slovakia.
In other World Junior action Friday, the U.S fell to Russia, while Sweden defeated Finland 6-3. The Swedes and Finns were neck and neck through the majority of the game, until the Swedes notched a late goal courtesy of Oskar Lindblom to seal the deal and move them forward in the tournament.
Russia and Sweden will face each other in the semi-finals.
Also in quarterfinal action, a very good defensive performance from Slovakia earned them a victory over the Czech Republic 3-0, in what some would say was a stunning victory. Denis Godla was a monster in net yet again for the Slovaks, continuing his impressive performance at the tournament.
In the day’s first game Switzerland defeated Germany 5-2. NHL Prospect Kevin Fiala added another goal for Switzerland, his fourth of the tournament.