MAGNITOGORSK, Russia – Canada survived a wild first period against Belarus that saw seven goals scored between the two teams to earn an 8-3 win in their second game at the IIHF U18 World Championship.
The victory moves their record to 2-0 and currently puts them atop their group on the second day of preliminary action.
The pace was frantic early in the first with Jack McBain opening the scoring for Canada only a 1:19 into the game, but Ilya Usov answered right back for Belarus just under thirty seconds later.
Canada stretched their lead to 3-1 on two more quick goals from Raphaël Lavoie and Alexis Lafrenière’s goal marked the end of the night for Nikita Tolopilo, and Danil Veremeichik replaced him in net.
The two teams continued to trade goals in the period, with Alexei Protras drawing Belarus within one at 6:48 in the frame. Jared McIsaac and Serron Noel responded, and Canada went in to the first intermission up 5-2.
Liam Foudy second goal in as many games was the only scoring in the second period, and stretched Canada’s lead to 6-2.
Belarus got a quick goal in the third from Viktor Masilevich to pull them within three, but goals Serron Noel and Ty Dellandrea put the game out of reach for good.
Noel finished the game with two goals and an assist, and leads the team in goals with three. Jack McBain also had a three-point night with a goal and two assists.
Canada is back in action Sunday in Magnitogorsk, when they’ll face off against Switzerland in the third of four preliminary round games (10:30 a.m. ET/7:30 a.m. PT).
“We want to be a four-line hockey club, we want everybody to contribute and everybody to feel [they’re of] value to our group. I think we’re doing that. I thought we had a great start. [The play was] going back-and-forth for a little while, then we were able to establish ourselves and our presence in front of the net. Everybody has a real good spirit within our group, and we’re growing – and I like that the best. We did a lot of good things, and we’re looking forward to getting a day off and then moving on [to play Switzerland on Sunday].”
Canada’s head coach Don Hay on the distribution of goals and offence across the team in game two, and what the positives are that he’s seeing in Team Canada to-date
“I think we’re doing pretty well. We had a couple pre-tournament games to help us get adjusted, and then started the tournament off pretty well on the big ice. Lots of the guys like it – we have some skilled players [who] like to play on the big ice [because] it gives them a bit more room.”
Captain Ty Smith on the team’s adjustment following its travel and playing on the international-sized ice