Perlini powers Canada over Slovakia; improve to 3-0 at Under-18 World Championships



Brendan Perlini of the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs played the hero, scoring twice as Canada overcame a one-goal deficit to improve to 3-0-0-0 at the Under-18 World Championships on Sunday.

Mason McDonald of the Charlottetown Islanders recovered from allowing a short-handed goal to stop 21 of 22 shots on his way to his second victory in net at the tournament.

Slovakia drew first blood in the first period while a man down when Juraj Mily scored unassisted at the 12:24 mark, beating McDonald on just Slovakia’s third shot of the game. The short-handed marker was the third of the tournament for the Slovaks. Despite being out-shot 9-6 in the opening 20 minutes, the Slovaks would hold onto the 1-0 lead heading into the intermission.

It wouldn’t be until there were seven seconds remaining in the second period when Canada would finally find its way onto the score board. Once again on the man advantage, Perlini would beat Slovak goaltender Adam Huska to make it a 1-1 game. Haydn Fleury and Travis Samheim would pick up the assists on just the second power play goal of the tournament for the Canadians. Shots in the second period were 10-7 in favour of Team Canada.

Canada would jump ahead with a 2-1 lead after Perlini scored his second of the game with 6:37 remaining in the third period. Brayden Point would be credited with an assist on the play. Despite out-shooting the Canadians 9-6 in the final frame, Slovakia was unable to find the equalizer before the final horn sounded giving Canada the 2-1 victory.

The win secures a quarter-final berth for the Canadians while Slovakia will need to wait until tomorrow to find out whether they will be moving onto the playoff round or not.

Both McDonald and Huska played well in goal for their respective sides, but it was McDonald improving to 2-0, stopping 21 of the 22 shots he faced while Huska fell to 0-2 on the tournament stopping 23 of 25 shots.

Canada went one-for-eight on the power play while Slovakia were unsuccessful in their five opportunities with the man advantage, however they did manage to score their only goal of the game while short-handed.

The next game for Canada comes Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. ADT as they close out the preliminary round against Russia. The game will be broadcasted in French by RDS. Slovakia’s final game of the preliminary round comes tomorrow against Sweden. Puck drop for that game is at 1:30 p.m. ADT.