Canada’s world junior team answered the bell in convincing fashion this afternoon versus Denmark after opening on Boxing Day with a decidedly underwhelming performance, devoid of any real urgency.
According to TSN analyst and former NHL’er Ray Ferraro, Canada’s coaches were preaching the following: “more blue-collar ways to get goals… pucks to the net, and traffic in front of the net…Dave Lowry got what he was looking for.”
WJHC: Canada Bounces Back
“In the first period we got pucks to the net, but we didn’t get bodies to the net…after the first, we talked about it, and then we started benefiting with traffic and pucks going to the net”. – Dave Lowry
Without question, the nation’s next wave came to play today, responding well to head coach Dave Lowry’s admonishing. Line changes included separating Dylan Strome and Mitch Marner in order to spread out the offense and generate more shots at the net. Marner responded with the kind of game you’d hope for as he kept his feet moving throughout the contest, finishing with a goal and a helper in what eventually became a rout of their opponent.
Where Team USA succeeded in containing Canada by clearing away secondary chances, Denmark was unable to resist the onslaught of offense Canada generated right out of the gate. By the final horn, they would face 58 shots, 28 of which coming from “home plate”; high-scoring areas.
Denmark opened the scoring mid-way through the first stanza with a goal by Alexander True after an inconclusive no-goal by Lawson Crouse of Canada earlier in the first. Soon afterward, Canada hit the scoreboard and didn’t look back.
Moments before Lawson Crouse’s net-front tap–in in the second period, assistant coach and Brandon Wheat Kings overlord Kelly McKrimmon implored the Florida Panthers power forward to capitalize on those chances waiting for them on the doorstep. Mission accomplished, and then some. Defender Joe Hicketts weighed in: “we came out in the second and the first three goals were the result of getting bodies to the net”.
Despite a come-from-behind win on Sunday versus a Swiss team playing with a shortened bench due to multiple suspensions, Denmark could not carry the momentum into today’s contest, generating just eleven shots; none of which coming in the final frame.
Danish keeper Mathias Seldrup was awarded the best player of the game for his club, stopping 52 of a whopping 58 shots as Canada controlled the flow of play throughout the affair.
Where they failed to generate enough shots or traffic 48 hours ago, Team Canada rallied with a commanding performance which they’ll be able to build on. TSN analyst Bob McKenzie put it thusly: “Canada came to shoot the puck and get bodies to the net…there’s no question that was the message”.
Message clearly received. Final score: Canada-6, Denmark-1
Canada faces the feisty Swiss squad tomorrow.