Canada Advances to Semi-Finals Against Finland

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The roller coaster tournament for Team Canada continues, as they defeat the Swiss 4-1 in the quarter finals and advance to the semi finals to play Team Finland. It has been a wild tournament for
Team Canada has their confidence back.

the Canadians; from rock bottom after a loss to the Czechs to playing with confidence after beating the Americans, it seems like Team Canada has their confidence back and have a great shot at advancing to the gold medal game to play either the Swedes or the Russians.

It was a team effort to take down the gritty Swiss team that put up a good fight, including some great two-way play from Curtis Lazar and some great plays from Griffin Reinhart, who has been dynamite since coming off of his suspension. Although there is still a long way to go, Team Canada has to be happy with their production as of late, and they have to be feeling confident heading into the semi finals.

Canada’s offence has yet to be stopped in this tournament, and the quarter finals were no exception. Canada got its offence from all personnel, with goals from Griffin Reinhart, Anthony

Mantha celebrates his 2-0 goal.

Mantha, Curtis Lazar and Derrick Pouliot. It is nice to see Canada get their scoring from all lines, rather than just one line or one player creating all the offence for the team, and they’ll need more of it moving forward. Brent Sutter went out and said that Curtis Lazar has been the best all-around player for Team Canada in the tournament, and he has been just that. Lazar has been all over the ice every game, and even though his numbers aren’t as good as Mantha, Lazar has dominated both ends of the ice, and the Ottawa Senators have to be happy with Lazar’s production. Anthony Mantha scored another goal today with a beautiful backhand deke on a penalty shot to give Canada the 2-0 lead. Mantha may be criticized for his poor defensive work, but he is great at creating offence and scoring goals, and Team Canada needs that moving forward. Team Canada staff have to be pleased with the offence thus far, and hopefully they can keep the momentum rolling heading into Saturday against the Finns.

The defensive group was great once again against the Swiss; after the loss to the Czechs, the D has really stepped up to the plate and picked up their game. Aaron Ekblad has been not only one of the best defenders on Team Canada, but arguably one of the best defenders in the tournament. Scouts

Griffin Reinhart was outstanding.

may be putting Ekblad over Sam Reinhart by the end of the tournament if Ekblad continues to play this well. Griffin Reinhart had a monster game today, potting a goal and an assist in a great two-way game. Mathew Dumba has really patched up the holes in his game since the Czech game, and has made a lot less turnovers as of late. Derrick Pouliot continued to show his offensive brilliance against the Swiss with a sweet goal on the rush to give Canada a 4-1 lead, but his defensive play has also been good. Chris Bigras and Adam Pelech have both had minimal minutes in the tournament, but they’ve played well when they’ve been called upon, and that’s all you can ask for with bottom pairing defencemen. Team Canada should be happy with their defence since the Czech meltdown, and should be confident in their group heading into Saturday.

Zach Fucale was once again great against the Swiss. Although he wasn’t called upon nearly as much as he was against the Americans, Fucale still made the big saves when he needed to and kept Canada ahead on the scoreboard. The Swiss are a sneaky team, and Fucale held them off the board for the most part. It’s safe to say that Paterson won’t see the crease for the rest of the tournament unless he is coming in during the game to relieve Fucale. Zach Fucale has locked down the #1 position like he should’ve earlier in the tournament. Fucale should get the nod against the Finns, I wouldn’t see why not.

Team Canada should be confident and motivated for their semi final match against the Finns, and the staff should be happy with their personnel on all fronts. After a meltdown against the Czechs, Team Canada has been stellar all around, and should be able to carry their recent success into their semi final showdown with Team Finland on Saturday.

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