Magic Marner

Rookie im­pres­sive as Canada fin­ishes pre­lim­i­nary round with 5-2 win over Fin­land

Cape Breton Post - - Sports - BY CAROL SCHRAM

Mitch Marner’s hockey sense has won him a few ad­mir­ers early in his hockey ca­reer. You can add Canada head coach Jon Cooper to that list.

Marner scored twice on Tues­day and Canada’s power play con­tin­ued to roll as it fin­ished its pre­lim­i­nary round at the world hockey cham­pi­onship with a 5-2 win over Fin­land.

The Cana­di­ans scored early and of­ten, with Marner notch­ing his third and fourth goals of the tournament in an open­ing pe­riod where Canada out­shot the Finns 15-6.

“He oozes with con­fi­dence and hockey sense and skill,” Cooper of the 20-year-old, who was named Canada’s player of the game. “You give him the puck in the open ice and you sit there and think he’s got one of three op­tions, then he in­vents op­tion four, five and six. It’s im­pres­sive to watch him play.”

Colton Parayko, Bray­den Point and Matt Duch­ene also scored for Canada.

Marner opened the scor­ing 2:46 into the game off an im­pres­sive toe-drag af­ter a feed from Point. Jani La­junen replied for the Finns to even the score at 1-1 just 22 se­conds later.

The Cana­dian power play then went to work, with Marner set­ting up Parayko for his third goal of the tournament be­fore scor­ing his sec­ond of the game to give Canada a 3-1 lead af­ter 20 min­utes.

Canada fin­ished the pre­lim­i­nary round with 12 power-play goals on 25 at­tempts, sec­ond in ef­fi­ciency be­hind Rus­sia (13for-24).

The pace slowed in the mid­dle frame as the teams traded goals. Point fired a re­bound off the end boards past Fin­nish goalie Harri Sa­teri to ex­tend Canada’s lead to 4-1 be­fore Atte Oh­ta­maa beat Calvin Pickard with a slap shot from top of the left cir­cle to give the largely pro-Fin­land crowd of 10,202 fan at Ac­corHo­tels Arena some­thing to cheer about with 3:09 to play in the sec­ond.

Duch­ene ex­tended the lead to 5-2 with his first goal of the tournament on a break­away 34 se­conds into the third.

Fi­nal shots on goal were 28-20 in favour of Canada.

With the win, Canada fin­ishes the pre­lim­i­nary round with a tournament-best 19 points and a 6-0-0-1 record. The Cana­di­ans will play co-host Ger­many in the quar­ter-fi­nals in Cologne on Thursday. Ger­many claimed the last play­off spot in the group with a 4-3 shootout win over Latvia.

“I know that they know how to come back from a deficit in the last minute,” said Cooper when asked what the Cana­dian coach­ing staff knew about its next op­po­nent. “It’s go­ing be a tough test for us. The en­vi­ron­ment should be pretty elec­tric.”

“It will be a tough game in their build­ing, with the home crowd and ev­ery­thing,” added for­ward Sean Cou­turier. “What­ever’s up in front of us, we’ll be up to the chal­lenge.”

The other quar­ter-fi­nals see the United States face Fin­land, Rus­sia take on the Czech Repub­lic and Switzer­land play Swe­den.


Canada’s Mitch Marner, cen­tre, cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing his team’s first goal with team­mates Bray­den Point, right, Marc-Edouard Vla­sic dur­ing the Ice Hockey World Cham­pi­onships group B match be­tween Canada and Fin­land in the Ac­corHo­tels Arena in Paris, France, Tues­day.

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