PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Canada’s National Junior Team hopefuls outshot Sweden 38-22, but dropped a 5-1 decision to lose for the second time in as many games at the Sport Chek Summer Development Camp.
Mathieu Joseph (Chambly, Que./Saint John, QMJHL) scored the lone goal for Canada. Cal Foote (Kelowna, B.C./Kelowna, WHL) and Jake Bean (Calgary, Alta./Calgary, WHL) had the assists.
Carter Hart (Sherwood Park, Alta./Everett, WHL) and Zach Sawchenko (Calgary, Alta./Moose Jaw, WHL) split goaltending duties.
Sweden scored four times in the opening 13:15 of the game, a pace the Canadians couldn’t match.
The Swedes got on the board only 1:58 in, when Linus Olund skated from behind the net, spun and sent a shot through short side.
Canada equalized a few minutes later when Joseph tipped in Foote’s point shot.
Fifty-two seconds after that Jonathan Dahlen finished off a passing play to give Sweden back a lead it would not relinquish.
Only nine seconds into its first power play, Sweden struck again. Joel Eriksson Ek brought the puck out from below the goal line and beat Hart high.
The lead grew to three only two minutes later. Marcus Davidsson deflected Carl Grundstrom’s point shot over Hart’s glove.
Canada had a number of quality scoring chances to cut into the deficit in the second period. Early on Michael McLeod (Mississauga, Ont./Mississauga, OHL) and Mitchell Stephens (Peterborough, Ont./Saginaw, OHL) broke out on an odd-man rush, but McLeod’s attempt to go five-hole was denied.
On Canada’s first power play opportunity – midway through the period – Dylan Strome (Mississauga, Ont./Erie, OHL) sent a cross-ice pass to Tyson Jost (Kelowna, B.C./Penticton, BCHL), who was denied by Felix Sandstrom down low. The Swedish netminder then made a glove save on Dante Fabbro’s (Coquitlam, B.C./Penticton, BCHL) shot from the face-off circle.
Canada had its chances to score in the third period – it was able to beat Sandstrom twice, just not his backup. First, Jost drove to the net and hit the post. Moments later Keegan Kolesar (Winnipeg, Man./Seattle, WHL) found iron himself.
The team pulled Sawchenko with more than three minutes to go in regulation but couldn’t take advantage of the extra attacker.
Jonathan Davidsson scored into the empty net to seal the win for Sweden.
Dominique Ducharme, head coach of Canada’s National Junior Team:
“Overall, we got better as we went on. I will expect a better game from us tomorrow; the guys are going to be more in the rhythm and execution should be better. Those chances that we got are a big part of it and at this time of the year, it is normal that our guys aren’t as sharp as usual.”
Mitch Marner, on team chemistry:
“You know, that’s how it’s going to be at the World Juniors. You have to be ready to play your best game every game. I think it starts at this camp and I think we’re getting better every day. We’re starting to get to know each other a little better and the chemistry is coming around.”
Canada wraps up its three-game exhibition schedule against the United States on Saturday (7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT).