December 10, 2013, TRENTINO, Italy (ISN) – Nick MacNeil scored four goals and Mike Cazzola tallied six points as the Canadian men’s hockey team dominated Japan 12-1 in its tournament opener at the 26th Winter Universiade, on Tuesday night.
The red and white squad, comprised entirely of all-stars from the Atlantic University Sport conference, now enjoys a two-day break before facing Ukraine in its second of three Pool A contests. The Canucks will then wrap up the preliminary round on Sunday against Kazakhstan, a nation they beat 3-1 two years ago in the bronze-medal match of the biennial competition.
The Canadians missed a glorious opportunity to open the scoring only 78 seconds into the game when Chris Culligan was awarded a penalty shot after being tripped. The team captain couldn’t capitalize but it would be one of the rare joyous moments on the evening for the overmatched Japanese side.
MacNeil, a native of Creignish, N.S., and Culligan’s teammate with the reigning University Cup champion UNB Varsity Reds, had completed his hat trick by the time the first period was over as Canada went back to the locker room up 5-1. The fourth-year forward then notched the lone goal of the second frame and added an assist in the third to finish with five points.
Cazzola, an Acadia forward who hails from Guelph, Ont., scored Canada’s fourth marker in the opening stanza and assisted on three of MacNeil’s goals.
Cory Tanaka of Saint Mary’s and Éric Faille of Moncton each contributed a pair, while StFX’s Michael Kirkpatrick, Saint Mary’s Lucas Bloodoff and Dalhousie’s Pierre Vandall had singles for the winners.
Canada outshot its rivals 22-4 in the first, 13-6 in the second and 23-6 in the third for an overall advantage of 58-16.
Ryo Omiya was the only Japanese player to put one past Canadian goaltender Wayne Savage of UPEI, scoring on a two-man advantage at 12:14 of the first to cut the deficit to 3-1.
“The group was ready to play in the first period and it was a little bit like Christmas,” said Team Canada head coach Gardiner MacDougall, who has led UNB to four CIS titles in the past seven years and who was an assistant coach with the Universiade gold medal-winning team in 2007. “We played the first two periods like men, but were boys at Christmas time. I think we got away from our game a little bit in the second but got it back in the third. We have an opportunity for two good practices now and get ready for our second game in a few days.”
In 13 previous appearances at the FISU tourney, Canada has reached the podium 12 times, including three gold medals, three silver and six bronze. Its three triumphs came in 2007 when represented by AUS standouts, 1991 (senior national team) and 1981 (Alberta Golden Bears).
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/winter/2013/index
Trentino 2013 website: http://www.universiadetrentino.org/en
TEAM CANADA SCHEDULE & RESULTS (all times local / 6 hours ahead of EST)
- Dec. 10 (20:00): Canada 12, Japan 1
- Dec. 13 (20:00): Canada vs. Ukraine
- Dec. 15 (20:00): Canada vs. Kazakhstan
- Dec. 18 (TBD): Quarter-finals
- Dec. 20 (TBD): Semifinals
- Dec. 21 (10:30): Bronze
- Dec. 21 (14:30): Final
SCORING SUMMARY (official boxscore: BOXSCORE)
Canada 12, Japan 1
- 1. CAN Cory Tanaka (1) (Chris Desousa, Alex Wall), 5:16 SH
- 2. CAN Nick MacNeil (1) (Christopher Owens, Mike Cazzola), 7:11
- 3. CAN Nick MacNeil (2) (Marc-Antoine Desnoyers, Josh Day), 8:56 SH
- 4. JPN Ryo Omiya (1) (Shinya Yamasaki), 12:14 PP2
- 5. CAN Mike Cazzola (1) (Josh Day), 12:55
- 6. CAN Nick MacNeil (3) (Mike Cazzola), 19:58
- Denis Akimoto (JPN) hooking, 1:18 (penalty shot, missed by Chris Culligan);
- Tyler Carroll (CAN) interference, 3:57;
- Liam Heelis (CAN) kneeing 5-minute major, 7:41;
- Liam Heelis (CAN) game misconduct, 7:41;
- Chris Desousa (CAN) charging, 11:01.
- 7. CAN Nick MacNeil (4) (Mike Cazzola, Christopher Owens), 19:01 PP
- Shoya Yamamoto (JPN) tripping, 7:57;
- Makuru Furuhashi (JPN) tripping, 17:26.
- 8. CAN Michael Kirkpatrick (1) (Tyler Carroll, Josh Day), 1:51
- 9. CAN Cory Tanaka (2) (Rob Slaney, Alex Wall), 5:00 PP
- 10. CAN Éric Faille (1) (Mike Cazzola, Michael Kirkpatrick), 5:12 PP
- 11. CAN Lucas Bloodoff (1) (Rob Slaney, Alex Wall), 10:00
- 12. CAN Pierre Vandall (1) (Mike Cazzola, Nick MacNeil), 10:14
- 13. CAN Éric Faille (2) (Rob Slaney, Michael Kirkpatrick), 10:59
- H Shibata (JPN) high sticking, 2:26;
- Denis Akimoto (JPN) checking to the head 5-minute major, 4:16.
- Denis Akimoto (JPN) game misconduct, 4:16.
- GOALS (by period)
- CAN: 5-1-6: 12
- JPN: 1-0-0: 1
SHOTS ON GOAL (by period)
- CAN: 22-13-23: 58
- JPN: 4-6-6: 16
- CAN: 3-4
- JPN: 1-3
- CAN – Wayne Savage (W, 1-0, 16 shots, 15 saves, 1 GA, 60:00)
- JPN – Takuto Onada (L, 0-1, 58 shots, 46 saves, 12 GA, 60:00)
- REFEREE: Marian Rohatsch (GER)
- LINESMEN: Marcus Hofer (GER), Simone Lega (ITA)
- START: 20:00
- END: 22:04
- LENGTH: 2:04