Sam Steel (Sherwood Park. Alta/Regina Pats, WHL) rips a shot past the Slovakia netminder in Canada’s 6-0 win at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Hockey Canada

Canada shuts out Slovakia at IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship

Kelowna Rockets captain earns one assist

Canada heads outside for its next preliminary round game with a 2-0 record as they prepare to take on the host United States on Friday afternoon in the first outdoor game in IIHF World Junior Championship history.

“It’s about the environment too, not just the ice. We want our guys to feel the ice, the stadium but we don’t want it to become too much of a big thing when we get there. We’ll be short (with practice), but we will prepare our game,” said head coach Dominique Ducharme on how the team is preparing for the outdoor game which will take place at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York, home of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.

Related: Canada wins opener at IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship

On Wednesday, Colton Point (North Bay, Ont./Colgate University, ECAC) backstopped Canada’s National Junior Team to a 6-0 win over Slovakia turning aside 20 shots.

“I felt good, smooth, ready and confident. The guys played great in front of me, they’re unbelievably good at puck management and all things that go into being a good team. They make my job a million times easier. I don’t think I had a back door play once today and every shot I took was in front of me, on my stick and the guys make my job a lot easier than it could be,” said Point.

Captain Dillon Dubé (Cochrane, Alta./Kelowna Rockets, WHL) had one assist while the two other players from B.C., including Penticton Vees alumni Dante Fabbro (Coquitlam, B.C./Boston University, HE) and Cal Foote (Kelowna, B.C./Kelowna Rockets, WHL) did not record any points.

Related: Rockets’ Dube named Team Canada captain

Sam Steel (Sherwood Park, Alta./Regina, WHL) needed just 2:39 to open the scoring, banging in a loose puck after a point shot from Cale Makar (Calgary, Alta./University of Massachusetts, HE) pinballed to the side of the net.

That was it for scoring in the first period despite Canada holding a 13-6 advantage in shots on goal.

The Canadians pulled away in the second, finding the back of the net three times in just over nine minutes to take control.

Jordan Kyrou (Toronto, Ont,/Sarnia, OHL) doubled the lead to 2-0 on the power play, sliding the puck through the legs of a defender before whipping a wrist shot past Slovak netminder David Hrenak only 84 seconds into the middle frame.

“They [Slovakia] gave us a tough ride all game, but we played our game overall and we got better each period. We also wanted to stay out of the box and tonight we were a lot more disciplined,” said Kyrou.

Jonah Gadjovich (Whitby, Ont,/Owen Sound, OHL) tucked in his first of two goals at 5:43, and Taylor Raddysh (Caledon, Ont./Erie, OHL) buried his own rebound from in close on another Canadian man advantage at 10:33 to make it a four-goal lead after 40 minutes.

A pair of late goals capped the scoring in the third period; Maxime Comtois (Longueuil, Que./Victoriaville, QMJHL) jumped on an offensive-zone turnover and roofed a backhand past Hrenak, before Gadjovich redirected a feed from Michael McLeod (Mississauga, Ont./Mississauga, OHL) with 90 seconds left.

“It’s nice to see how the guys are coming together. One of the big things we stress in our room is the small habits; whether it’s angling on pucks or getting sticks on pucks. I think if we stay consistent on those things, we’ll grow as a team and be better moving through the tournament,” said Cale Makar (Calgary, Alta./University of Massachusetts, HE).

Canada faces the U.S. in the outdoor game on Dec. 29 (3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT). The U.S. defeated Belarus 9-0 in their opening game and face Slovakia on Dec. 28.

Just Posted

Cowichan Valley Memorial hockey tournament honours seven families united by tragedy

Fifteen Midget C teams anxious to play in an event that’s second to none for emotion and excitement

Canadian Road Trip on the agenda

Fuller Lake Skating Club taking audience on a memorable excursion

International students staying in Washington pass through Chemainus

Rotary club group guests of honour for lunch at the Legion Hall

‘Reasonable’ tax increases a sign of an election year

We’re the losers for increases in the last 10 years

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 16, 2018

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Washington state backs B.C. in pipeline dispute

Governor Jay Inslee says he is ‘allied’ with the province on Trans Mountain expansion projection

Dead rabbits found at Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds stoke concerns about Nanaimo virus

A B.C. wildlife veterinarian says a few of the dead bunnies will be sent for diagnosis next week.

SAY WHAT? Readers weigh in on high-speed rail to U.S.

B.C. to contribute $300,000 to a million-dollar business study on the proposed project

INTERACTIVE MAP: Follow the 2017 Tour de Rock

Follow the Tour de Rock, as they pedal more than 1,000 kilometres fundraising to combat paediatric cancer

Most Read