Canada’s Sam Steel (23) celebrates his goal with teammate Jordan Kyrou (25) against Denmark’s Emil Gransoe (1) and Christian Larsen (4) during first period IIHF World Junior Championship preliminary action in Buffalo, N.Y., on Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canada clinches first in Group A at world championship

Kelowna’s Cal Foote earns three assists in win over Denmark at World Junior Hockey Championship

Kelowna’s Cal Foote had three assists as Canada skated to an 8-0 win over Denmark at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship on Saturday.

The win clinches first place in Group A and now Canada will have to wait until the end of preliminary round play on Sunday to find out who they will face in the quarter-finals on Tuesday, Jan. 2. Team Canada, which also includes captain Dillon Dubé (Cochrane, Alta./Kelowna Rockets, WHL) and former Penticton Vees alumni Dante Fabbro (Coquitlam, B.C./Boston University, HE), will open the medal round against the fourth place team in Group B.

Related: Canada loses to U.S. in shootout at World Juniors outdoor game

“I liked our focus and we played the right way. Discipline – only two penalties — and that’s what we need every game,” said Dominique Ducharme, head coach of Team Canada. “We’ve been through a lot in four games, lived (through) different situations and I think we’re adapting well and learning; now we’re ready to start the final round.”

Canada spread around the scoring against the Danes – seven players scored goals, and 15 of the 20 skaters recorded at least one point. Foote (Kelowna, B.C./Kelowna, WHL) with three assists, while Michael McLeod (Mississauga, Ont,/Mississauga, OHL) and Alex Formenton (King City, Ont./London, OHL) added a goal and a helper apiece.

I think tonight we played a full 60 minutes and that’s a good note to end on heading into the elimination games,” said Dubé.

Carter Hart (Sherwood Park, Alta./Everett, WHL) made 18 saves to record the shutout.

Robert Thomas (Aurora, Ont./London, OHL) was first on the board for the Canadians, stuffing a shot short-side on Danish netminder Emil Gransoe just 3:52 in.

Howden got his first at 17:21, banging in a loose puck, and Sam Steel (Sherwood Park, Alta./Regina, WHL) found a rebound in the crease with 20.4 seconds left in the first period to make it 3-0 after 20 minutes.

A pair of goals midway through the second period pushed the advantage to five; Cale Makar (Calgary, Alta./University of Massachusetts, HE) snapped in a power-play goal at 7:52 before Howden redirected a shot from Foote just 88 seconds later.

“It’s a very deep group. We knew that coming in. There’s lots of guys that can play lots of different roles and put the puck in the net. We have a really skilled, fast group, but guys who are willing adapt to any role. When you get that type of group it’s kind of amazing to see,” said Howden.

Formenton made good on a mini-breakaway less than four minutes in, going upstairs in a hurry over the shoulder of Gransoe, and McLeod jumped on a turnover at the Danish blue-line and wired in the seventh Canadian goal at 9:03.

Related: Speed and depth key to Canada’s junior team

Drake Batherson (New Minas, N.S./Cape Breton, QMJHL) finished the scoring at 12:26, redirecting a feed from Foote for another power-play goal.

Hart came up big early, stopping Joachim Blichfeld on a pair of first-period breakaways, and turned aside seven shots in each of the final two periods to finish the shutout.

The bronze and gold medal games will be played on Friday, Jan. 5.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BREAKING: Body found in Maple Ridge identified as Coquitlam soccer player

Edi Bogere-Nyigwo was last seen leaving his Coquitlam home on Dec. 27

Maple Ridge opera singer meets the 14th Dalai Lama

Meeting took place on Jan. 8 in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India

LETTER: Kindness alive and well in Maple Ridge

One woman wants to say thanks for a simple but kind gesture

Update: Road closed for police incident in east Maple Ridge

Whonnock elementary briefly locked down

City of Maple Ridge says ‘well done’ to baseball legend

Congratulates Larry Walker on getting into hall of fame

VIDEO: Kenney wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Surrey massage therapist suspended for reading books on cellphone during treatments

Investigation sparked by patient who was concerned she’d been photographed

‘Very disrespectful’: Headstones at Okanagan cemetery damaged by excavation crew

Headstones at Enderby’s Cliffside Cemetery mistakenly driven over by excavation crew

Despite reports of decline, birds flocking to national parks in Canadian Rockies

Recent studies suggest overall bird population has slid by three billion since 1970

Former UN committee member defends stance on B.C.’s Coastal GasLink pipeline

First Nations LNG Alliance accused UN committee, human rights watchdog of not doing their research

Police release photo of suspect in theft of Indigenous regalia in Vancouver

A person stole nine pieces of Indigenous regalia, five drums, and traditional boots

Opioid crisis to blame for shorter life expectancy in B.C. men, says Stats Can

Opioid crisis held responsible for declining life expectancy

Earthquake on top of highway closure a wake up call for Island’s West Coast

“When someone says, ‘Be prepared for 72 hours,’ that means exactly that: be prepared.”

Most Read