Canada Red’s attempt at staying undefeated in Group B at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge proved to be successful on Monday, with the team taking a 4-1 victory over a weak effort from Sweden.
From the start of the contest, it appeared as though the Swedes were trying their best to not win the hockey game. The only winless team in Group B heading into the game, Sweden had 18 shots compared to Sweden’s two at the conclusion of the opening frame that saw Canada escape with a 3-0 lead.
Antoine Morand was the star of the opening period, scoring two goals while playing on a very strong line with Maxime Comtois and Joel Teasdale. First, Morand went top shelf on Arvid Soderblom 6:56 into the game in a play that made the Swedes look like they were standing still. He’d also get credit for the third goal of the game, creeping in on a rebound from Jordan Bellerive before knocking in his second of the contest while on the power-play.
In between Morand’s strong start, defenseman Josh Brook managed to find the back of the net with a nice shot of his own. Like Morand’s second, the goal would come as a result of a Swedish penalty, giving Canada two goals on the first four power-play chances of the game.
The second period didn’t see many goals scored by either team, and the Swedes actually looked much better than they did in the first. But that didn’t matter at the end of the first, as a goal by Mackenzie Entwhistle with five seconds left really hurt any momentum the Swedes had heading into the second intermission.
The Swedes struggled to move the puck well in the offensive zone in the third, but for the second straight game, Michael Dipietro would lose his shutout in the final period of play. It was a very solid goal, however, as Timothy Liljegren would fire it so quickly past Dipietro that the Canadian goaltender had no chance of making a save. It wouldn’t have much of an impact on the final score, however, as Canada Red would stay in the lead all the way until the very end to hold on for the 4-1 victory.
Canada Red will look to go undefeated in Group B action with a 9:00 pm EST start against their rivals from Russia on Tuesday night. Earlier in the afternoon, Sweden will try and finish the preliminary round by grabbing a lone victory against the Finns, who skated to a 6-3 victory over Russia earlier on Monday.
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