France scares Canada

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS -

PARIS — Marc-Edouard Vla­sic scored the win­ner as Canada sur­vived a scare in a tight 3-2 win over co-host France on Thurs­day at the world hockey cham­pi­onship.

Canada im­proved its record to 4-0 de­spite a dose of ad­ver­sity. The Cana­di­ans fell be­hind an op­po­nent for the first time in the tour­na­ment when Damien Fleury put France up 2-1 on the power play at the 1:37 mark of the sec­ond.

Claude Giroux replied on a Cana­dian man ad­van­tage to send the teams to the dress­ing room in a 2-2 tie af­ter two pe­ri­ods. Vla­sic was cred­ited with the win­ner at 2:22 of the third af­ter a bounc­ing puck de­flected past French net­min­der Flo­rian Hardy off team­mate Jonathan Janil.

Canada’s Ryan O’Reilly and France’s Olivier Dame-Malka traded first-pe­riod goals.

A rau­cous sold-out crowd of 14,510 at Ac­corHo­tels Arena in Paris was vo­cal in sup­port of France, which had impressed with wins over Fin­land and Switzer­land in pre­lim­i­nary-round games.

Tem­pers ran high in the game. France was whis­tled for 10 min­utes in penal­ties, while Canada re­ceived 33 min­utes. For­ward Jeff Skin­ner was as­sessed a ma­jor penalty and game mis­con­duct for a spear on goal­tender Hardy with 16:08 left to play in the third.

Hardy made 32 saves for France, while Cana­dian goal­tender Chad John­son stopped 22 shots.

Canada was with­out Tyson Bar­rie, who had led all de­fence­men in scor­ing with seven points in three games be­fore suf­fer­ing a tour­na­ment-end­ing lower­body in­jury away from the ice Thurs­day.

Chris Lee, a 36-year-old from Mac­Tier, Ont., was regis­tered for the tour­na­ment on Friday and took Bar­rie’s place on the sec­ond de­fence pair­ing with Calvin de Haan. Lee had 14 goals and 65 points in 2016-17 with Mag­ni­to­gorsk Me­tal­lurg of the KHL and had been with Canada as a prac­tice player. Another de­fence­man, Colton Parayko, had ar­rived in Paris af­ter his St. Louis Blues were elim­i­nated from the Stan­ley Cup play­offs, but was not yet ready for game ac­tion.

The two-time de­fend­ing world cham­pion Cana­di­ans re­main first in Group B at 4-0. Ear­lier on Thurs­day in Paris, the Czech Repub­lic shut out Nor­way 1-0.

In Group A ac­tion in Cologne, Ger­many, Rus­sia moved into first place with a 3-0 shutout of Den­mark, while Swe­den beat Latvia 2-0. Canada’s next game is against 2-1-1-0 Switzer­land Satur­day.

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