Two straight games, two straight shutouts, and maybe the discussion about flaky goaltending can take a few days rest for Team Canada at the World Junior Championship.
Before the tournament began, many were questioning if, with all the talent up front and on the blueline for the Canadian team, the fatal flaw would turn out to be a few soft goals that sank the whole ship. After Zach Fucale shut out Slovakia on the tournament’s opening night, Eric Comrie got the second blank sheet for the Canadian squad in a 4-0 win over Germany.
Canada got on the board less than five minutes into the game when Connor McDavid registered his first point of the tournament, a power play goal. Goals with the extra man were a somewhat consistent theme throughout the night. Midway through the first McDavid got his second point, a primary assist, on Curtis Lazar’s power play goal.
Lazar’s goal put the Canadians ahead 2-0, but they wouldn’t score again until nine minutes into the third period. Goaltender Kevin Reich was stellar for the Germans, especially his work early in the first period when a quick barrage of Canadian shots could have sank the German squad before the game even got underway.
With three assists in the game, Winnipeg Jets prospect Nic Petan extended his tournament point scoring lead to two points with one goal and six points in two games.
While the Canadians have yet to play either of the top two opponents in their group, Finland or USA, they’ll face that test come Monday evening when they face the Finns.
Speaking of the Finnish team, elsewhere in Group A action, last year’s champion lost to Slovakia 2-1. The Slovaks scored six minutes into the second frame, a goal coming off the stick of Matus Holenda, and goaltender Denis Godla stood on his head, stopping 37 of 38 shots en route to the victory.
In Group B, Sweden continued to roll, beating up on Denmark 5-1 and the Swiss surprised the Czechs by a final score of 5-2. With the win, the Swiss unexpectedly move into second place in Group B, ahead of both Russia and the Czech Republic.