After a half-hearted scare in the first period, Team Canada pulled it together and smashed minnows Denmark, 6-1, in Day 3 action at the World Juniors.
The Danes jumped out to a surprise lead at 12:49 of the first period, as Seattle T-Birds forward Alex True beat Canadian goaltender Mason McDonald to give Denmark a 1-0 lead against the run of play.
Anthony Beauvillier drew the Canadians level just 63 seconds later, tapping home a feed from Matt Barzal past Danish goaltender Mathias Seldrup.
Despite outshooting the Danes 19-4 in the opening twenty minutes, Canada found themselves tied at one.
The middle stanza put any chance of an upset out of reach, as Canada peppered Seldrup with 21 shots. Four beat him, as John Quenneville, Matt Barzal, Lawson Crouse and Mitch Marner all got their names on the scoresheet.
With the game out of reach, the third period was essentially a game of keep-away; the Danes chased Canada all over the ice, while Dave Lowry’s team simply held the puck and occasionally tested Seldrup.
Dylan Strome added a highlight-reel fluff goal at 9:32 of the third period to round out the scoring.
All things considered, Canada played the game it had to bounce back and secure the win against an incredibly inferior opponent. Skill-wise, the Danes are the second-worst team in the ten-nation tournament, well below even the likes of the Czechs/Slovaks.
THH Three Stars
1. Matt Barzal (F, CAN): The Coquitlam-native Barzal was excellent throughout Monday’s game, dominant – like so many other Canadians – in the offensive zone. The Seattle T-Birds forward picked up a goal and an assist in the win.
2. Mitch Marner (F, CAN): Last year’s fourth-overall pick (Toronto, duh) showed the dynamic offensive game which has Leafs fans’ mouths collectively watering. A goal and an assist in the win against the overmatched Danes will only add to his hype going forward.
3. Mathias Seldrup (G, DEN): For a no-name goaltender with zero appearances this season at any level, he put in a very respectable performance against Canada. Abandoned at times by his defence, he kept the Canadians to less than double digits despite Denmark being outshot 58-11.