FIVE-GOAL FIRST PERIOD HELPS CANADA TO PRE-U18 WORLDS WIN

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hockey canada

JASON LA ROSE

WINNIPEG, Man. – Beck Malenstyn (Delta, B.C./Calgary, WHL) and Maxime Comtois (Ste-Martine, Que./Victoriaville, QMJHL) scored two goals apiece, leading Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team to a 7-1 pre-tournament win over the Czech Republic on Sunday night.

The game was the first of two for Canada ahead of the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship; it faces Sweden on Tuesday night at the MTS Centre before heading south to Grand Forks, N.D., for the U18 worlds.

David Quenneville (Edmonton, Alta./Medicine Hat, WHL), Mason Shaw (Wainwright, Alta./Medicine Hat, WHL) and Michael McLeod (Mississauga, Ont./Mississauga, OHL) had the other goals for Canada, while Pascal Laberge (Ste-Martine, Que./Victoriaville, QMJHL) added four assists, all in the opening frame.

The Canadians took control early, netting five goals in a span of 13:04 in the first period.

Malenstyn got the scoring started quickly, beating Czech goaltender Josef Korenar only 3:20 in, before Comtois added his first goal on the power play at 9:49, and Quenneville made it 3-0 just 74 seconds later.

The power play struck again at 12:27, this time off the stick of Mason Shaw, and McLeod capped the offensive outburst at 16:24, sending the Canadians to the intermission with a commanding lead.

Matyas Kantner cut into the Canadian lead four minutes into the second period, getting a shot past netminder Evan Fitzpatrick (Lower Sackville, N.S./Sherbrooke, QMJHL), but Malenstyn and Comtois added their second goals in the final 3:25 of the middle frame.

Canada held an 8-5 advantage in shots on goal in a scoreless third period, and 32-24 overall.

Malenstyn finished with three points, McLeod and Shaw added a goal and a helper apiece, and Jakob Chychrun (Toronto, Ont./Sarnia, OHL) and William Bitten (Ottawa, Ont./Flint, OHL) chipped in with two assists each.

After closing out their pre-tournament schedule Tuesday night (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT), the Canadians open the U18 worlds against Denmark on Friday in Grand Forks (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).

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