Canada’s World Junior team and a group of Canadian University All-Stars met for the second straight time on Sunday, with the CIS selects coming off a big 5-4 upset victory on Saturday night. Today’s affair was a completely different story, with Canada easily taking full control with the 5-0 victory.
Just like in the first game, the opening period on Sunday didn’t have a whole lot of action in the early stages. After ten minutes of play, neither team really had much of a chance to to score the first goal, with both goalies having a rather easy start to the contest. That all changed with under four minutes to go in the first frame when poor defensive coverage allowed New York Islanders prospect Anthony Beauvillier to pick up the loose puck and shove it top corner to give the Canadians the 1-0 lead. A strong contributor yesterday, Beauvillier scored the game-tying goal in the dying minutes of Saturday’s game, sending the battle to overtime before the CIS All-Stars eventually came out with the victory.
Canada had a two goal lead a night ago and they would do the exact same thing again on Sunday. This time, however, Canada looked to be in a bit more control, with the team spreading out their goals while trying to shut CIS out defensively. Pierre-Luc Dubois, one of just three draft eligible players looking to make the Canadian squad, would give Canada the two advantage after putting it over CIS goalie Corbin Boes on a good opportunity in front with about 15 minutes to go in the period.
With 12 minutes to go, Canada found themselves with another goal on the scoreboard. Beauvillier would find a way to crack the net again for the team in red after converting on a turnover in front for the 3-0 goal.
Things started to really fall apart for the CIS All-Stars from near the mid-way mark of the contest. First, Travis Konecny made a great pass over to Beauvillier, who, like he did twice before, scored on Boes to end his night with the hat-trick. Then, not even a minute later, Konecny would get one of his own after scoring on his first shot on new CIS goalie Jordon Cooke, giving Canada the commanding 5-0 lead in the second period. Canada wouldn’t need to add to their offense in the third period, focusing more on their defensive play instead to finish off the 5-0 victory and grab their first victory of the pre-tournament.
Canada’s bid for their second straight World Junior gold will begin with a 1:00 pm meeting against the United States on December 26th in Finland. Canada will then play Denmark, Switzerland and Sweden before advancing to the quarter-finals, which will begin on January 2nd.
Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.