France scares Canada
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.