HERNING, Denmark – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Burnaby, B.C./Edmonton, NHL) had a goal and an assist and Darcy Kuemper (Saskatoon, Sask./Arizona, NHL) was perfect between the pipes as Canada’s National Men’s Team blanked Germany 3-0 on Tuesday to wrap up preliminary play at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.
With the win, Canada finished the preliminary round with a 4-1-1-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record, good for 15 points and third place in Group B. It will face either Sweden or Russia in the quarter-finals Thursday in Copenhagen.
Brayden Schenn (Saskatoon, Sask./St. Louis, NHL) and Tyson Jost (Kelowna, B.C./Colorado, NHL) had the other goals for Canada, while Connor McDavid (Newmarket, Ont./Edmonton, NHL) added two assists.
The captain finished the prelims with 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in seven games, good for fourth in tournament scoring.
Schenn wasted no time getting Canada on the board, opening the scoring only 20 seconds in when Nugent-Hopkins fed a pass from below the goal line for a quick shot and a 1-0 lead.
Nugent-Hopkins stretched the lead to two midway through the second period, taking a no-look pass from McDavid and tucking it off the post and in behind German goaltender Niklas Treutle.
Jost finished the scoring in the third period off a cross-ice set-up from Joel Edmundson (Brandon, Man./St. Louis, NHL), netting his fourth goal in six games.
Kuemper wasn’t busy but was sharp when he needed to be, turning away all 12 German shots he faced.
“The guys have talked about it [their confidence] a little bit, but now it’s for real. There’s no room for error and we have to get our power play going. It hasn’t been as dangerous as we’d like so we’ll revisit that and make some changes there. It was good to get (Kyle) Turris in the lineup, to get a little rust knocked off. You can see the skill level and hockey sense and we’ll be able to use him.”
– Bill Peters, head coach, Team Canada on team’s confidence heading into elimination games
“We really wanted to gear up going into the elimination round. It was a tough game with a quick turnaround from last night, but everyone played hard and it’s good momentum for us. I felt good and just wanted to keep building off yesterday’s start.”
– Darcy Kuemper, one goal against in his last two starts
“It’s going to be a big game no matter what. You’re going to have to play one of those teams down the road eventually, but [whoever we get] we’re just ready to play hockey.
– Tyson Jost, on facing either Russia or Sweden in the quarterfinal