MONTREAL, Que. – Tyson Jost (Kelowna, B.C./University of North Dakota, NCHC) and Taylor Raddysh (Caledon, Ont./Erie, OHL) had a pair of goals each, leading Canada’s National Junior Team to a 5-0 pre-tournament win over Finland on Monday night ahead of the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Carter Hart (Sherwood Park, Alta./Everett, WHL) made 25 saves to earn the shutout. Including games at selection camp last week, Canada has now gone 203:58 without allowing a goal.
Mathew Barzal (Coquitlam, B.C./Seattle, WHL) was the other Canadian to find the back of the net, while also adding an assist, while fellow returnee Julien Gauthier (Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que./Val-d’Or, QMJHL) chipped in with two helpers.
The boys in red and white came out strong and got the Bell Centre crowd cheering early with four goals in the first period, starting with a Jost marker 11 seconds in; he jumped on the rebound of a Gauthier shot and beat Finnish goaltender Vaini Vehvilainen.
Just 1:28 later, Raddysh sped away from a defender and went to the backhand to make it 2-0.
It was a three-goal lead at 14:28 after Barzal slammed on the brakes behind the Finnish net before tucking a wraparound past Vehvilainen, and Nicolas Roy (Amos, Que./Chicoutimi, QMJHL) and Gauthier set up Jost for his second of the period off a won face-off late in the opening frame.
After being heavily outshot 17-8 in the first period, Finland held a 7-6 advantage in the in the second, but neither team would manage to find the back of the net.
The final tally came midway through the third period after Raddysh picked up a loose puck at the side of the crease and banked a shot off a Finnish defender for his second goal of the night.
The Canadians outshot Finland 30-25, and both teams were perfect on the penalty kill; Canada was 0-for-3 with the power play, while the Finns were goalless on seven chances.
Canada’s National Junior Team will head next to the nation’s capital, facing off against the Czech Republic in Ottawa on Wednesday night (7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT) in the second of three pre-tournament games.
Dominique Ducharme, head coach, Canada’s National Junior Team:
“Overall, we’re happy with tonight’s game. We’re always looking to get better – it’s something that’s engrained in us. From day to day, we want to elevate our game. There are certainly some positive things that we did tonight, and some things that need improvement.
“I liked the way we moved the puck and the chances that we had [on the power play]. We need to stay aggressive and not try to become too perfect, and keep a shooting mentality. There were different options that we used; if [our power play] becomes unpredictable, it’s hard to defend.”