UPDATE: Canada beats Finland in group play

The bad news is Canada finally conceded a goal. The good news: giving one up didn’t stop the Canadians from beating Finland 4-1 on Monday./p>

The win keeps Canada unbeaten after three games of the group stage at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship with one more to go on Wednesday before the quarterfinals.

Sam Reinhart opened the scoring on the night at 5:32 of the first period.

On the power play, Reinhart passed the puck to the point, from where Shea Theodore fired a low shot toward the net. Reinhart, skating to the crease, tipped the shot on to the post before tapping in his own rebound for a 1-0 lead to Canada.

Sam Reinhart skates away after scoring the opener on Monday night as the referee signals for goal.

Reinhart doubled his tally in the second period after Canada put on a passing clinic. Moving fluidly, all five Canadian skaters on the ice touched the puck and the play ended with Reinhart deflecting an Anthony Duclair pass over the right shoulder of Finland goaltender Juuse Saros for 2-0.

Canada’s shutout streak ended with just 1:34 to go in the second, when defenceman Samuel Morin lost the puck to Artturi Lehkonen to the right of Canada’s net. Lehkonen skated from the left to right of Canadian goaltender Zachary Fucale’s crease before scoring unassisted and cutting Canada’s lead to 2-1.

It was the first time in the tournament that Canada looked slightly uncomfortable, however any chance of Finland completing the comeback was snuffed out over three-minute span in the third period. At 11:15 an opportunistic Duclair put Canada up 3-1 with Saros helplessly out of sorts lying flat on the ice. Then at 14:25 Saros failed to freeze the puck under his pad, allowing a hard-charging Curtis Lazar to make it 4-1 on the power play.

Curtis Lazar celebrates his goal that left Finland in disarray.

Curtis Lazar celebrates his goal that left Finland in disarray.

Canada now leads Group A with nine points from three wins. The United States has eight after winning its opening game on a shootout, which is worth two points in the group stage. The two sides will meet on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET on TSN before the quarterfinals begin in January.

Saturday, December 27, 2014/p>

Canada 4-0 Germany

Canada made it two wins in as many games in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship on Saturday with a 4-0 victory over Germany.

Playing in Group A, Canadian players have put the two easy tests at this stage behind them with wins over Slovakia and Germany, scoring 12 times in two nights and not conceding a single goal.

On Saturday, Connor McDavid opened the scoring at 4:11 of the first period, answering his critics who posed questions when the rising star failed to join the goal party against Slovakia the previous night. McDavid set up two more goals on the night to finish with three points.

Canada's Max Domi is stopped by German goalie Kevin Reich on a breakaway. Domi did get the better of Reich with a third period goal.

Canada’s Max Domi is stopped by German goalie Kevin Reich on a breakaway. Domi did get the better of Reich with a third period goal.

The other goals came from Curtis Lazar, Max Domi and Madison Bowey. Another three-point night – all helpers – was had by Nic Petan.

“Finding the back of the net is big for my confidence, it was a step in the right direction,” Lazar, the team captain, said after the match. Like McDavid, he too was kept off the scoreboard on Friday.

“For Connor and myself it’s nice to finally contribute a little bit.”

Curtis Lazar and Robby Fabbri on their way to celebrate Connor McDavid’s first goal of the tournament. McDavid would later add two assists to make it a three-point night against Germany.

Goaltender Eric Comrie saved 17 shots for the shutout with Friday’s goalie Zachary Fucale rested.

“When you’ve got two goalies with confidence going into the next game, there’s not much more you can ask for,” defenceman Shea Theodore said praising the “huge” boost in Canada’s net.

Three of the four Canada goals came on power plays, while they also killed off man advantages for Germany on six occasions.

Canada gets Sunday off before facing Finland on Monday and the United States on Wednesday to end the group stage in Montreal. All games are shown live on TSN in Canada.

Friday, December 26, 2014/p>

Canada 8-0 Slovakia

Canada flexed its offensive muscles Friday night, overpowering Slovakia 8-0 in its 2015 World Junior Championship debut in Montreal.

Mississauga’s Robby Fabbri had himself a game with two goals and as many assists, leading his team to its first win of the tournament.

“Getting the first game out at the Bell (Centre) always feels good, points are one thing, but the way the team played throughout the whole game, staying level headed, sticking to our game, it was good to see,” said the 18-year-old St. Louis Blues prospect of his fast start.

New York Rangers prospect Anthony Duclair scores Canada’s second goal en route to a 8-0 victory over Slovakia. (Photo: Steve Boudreau)

Both Fabbri goals came in the first period spaced in between Anthony Duclair’s back hand tally as Canada enjoyed a 3-0 advantage after 20 minutes of play.

Goals by Nick Paul and Brayden Point put Slovak goaltender Denis Godla out of his misery midway through the second period – much to the crowd’s delight – with backup David Okolicany stepping in hopping for a momentum change.

Less than five minutes later Max Domi put an end to that hope, surprising Okolicany over the shoulder on the upper right corner with a powerful wrist shot as he cut to the slot atop the face-off circles. Nic Petan closed out the second with a top-shelf beauty of his own that landed on the opposite side this time increasing Canada’s lead to seven.

#Canada defeats #Slovakia 8-0. Stats: http://t.co/Q2BHeVo5ga#WJC2015#WorldJuniorspic.twitter.com/l8NZX3EWiL

— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) December 27, 2014

Canada added another one for good measure in the third period while preserving Zachary Fucale’s shutout.

“No matter how many shots I get, I just want to be as ready as possible back there. My job doesn’t change and I just want to help the team win and that’s all that matters,” explained the Canadian netminder after his 12-save performance.

Canada will look to keep the goals flowing as they prepare to face Group A rival Germany Saturday, 8 p.m. ET on TSN.

Scott Harrigan
Your #1 source for community and amateur sports related news on Vancouver Island, British Columbia and beyond! Send stories to scottharriganisn@gmail.com