Audette scores, Canada wins in shutout
It was not expected to be an equal matchup, and it never was.
The team in red scored early and never looked back, as Canada’s U18 squad defeated Czech Republic 4-0 to open their Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament.
Heading to the dressing room with a solid lead
Team Canada was probably expecting to come back in the dressing room with only a single goal lead as Michael Dal Colle made it 1-0 on the powerplay at 2:24 in the first period with the help of Aaron Ekblad and Robby Fabbri, but Haydn Fleury beat goaltender Vit Vaněček with only three seconds remaining on the clock. It was also a powerplay goal.
Projected first round pick at the next NHL draft, Ekblad had an assist on both goals. Shots were 12-5 in favor of Canada.
A dominating second period
Even if the Canadians spent most of the second period in the Czech zone, Vaněček made all he could to keep his team within two, but he could not do everything all by himself. At 17:55, Spencer Watson got a golden opportunity to score his team’s third goal,and he made no mistake, as he scored on a penalty shot.
The period ended with a 3-0 score, and Canada outrageously dominating in the shots department. Vaněček faced 16 shots and stopped 15, as Chicoutimi Saguenéens goalie Julio Billia stopped all of the 6 he faced.
Audette scores his first in the final period
With another penalty to Czech forward Filip Pyrochta for interference, Canada put the final nail in the coffin as Daniel Audette scored his first goal to make it 4-0, with the only helper going to Michael Dal Colle at 1:24. It pretty much destroyed any hope Czech Republic could have had, as Canadians shot 14 times compared to only 2 times for the opponent in the final frame.
The final score is a pretty good indication of the match, as the team with the maple leaf compiled 42 shots and only allowed 13 during the whole sixty minutes.
– Chicoutimi goaltender Julio Billia was named the Player of the Game. He stopped all 13 shots he faced. He is probably one of the best goalies for the upcoming NHL Draft.
– Sherbrooke defenseman Carl Neill ended with a neutral differential, and 2 PIM (hooking at 11:59 in the second period)
– Canada went 3 for 7 on the powerplay, and killed all 7 of their penalties.
– Canada’s next game is against Sweden on Tuesday. Billia is expected to get the start again for Team Canada.
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