Canada routs Den­mark

Av­er­age al­most a shot a minute in 6-1 tri­umph

Winnipeg Free Press - Section D - - FRONT PAGE - By John Chidley-Hill

HELSINKI — Mitch Marner took off his san­dal, held it up like a mi­cro­phone and joined the re­porters in­ter­view­ing team­mate Dy­lan Strome. Strome laughed and swat­ted away his friend’s shoe be­fore con­tin­u­ing to an­swer ques­tions about Canada’s for­ward lines af­ter a 6-1 vic­tory over Den­mark Mon­day in the pre­lim­i­nary round of the world ju­nior hockey cham­pi­onship.

It’s ob­vi­ous Canada’s ju­nior team has loos­ened up on and off the ice af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing 4-2 loss to the United States on Satur­day to open the tour­na­ment.

“I think our line was hav­ing fun, for sure. I think the whole team was too,” said Marner, who was paired with Bray­den Point and John Quen­neville for the first time at the in­ter­na­tional event. “It’s nice go­ing out and do­ing that, es­pe­cially af­ter the USA game. It’s nice to get the con­fi­dence back in the room. We’ve got to make sure we come back tomorrow and make sure we’re ready to play.”

Cana­dian head coach Dave Lowry said af­ter the open­ing loss his play­ers needed to stop over­think­ing plays and shoot more of­ten. They de­liv­ered Mon­day by fir­ing 58 shots on Den­mark’s goalie Mathias Sel­drup, more than twice as many as Canada had against the Amer­i­cans.

“We just wanted to get more pucks to the net,” said Marner. “I think that was the prob­lem in our first game — we didn’t get enough pucks to the net. We really fo­cused on try­ing to get bod­ies in front of the goalies.

“Ev­ery goalie in this tour­na­ment is great when they see the puck, so we just got to get bod­ies in front of them and make sure we get pucks there.”

Marner and Strome had a goal and an as­sist each for Canada (1-1), while An­thony Beauvil­lier, Quen­neville, Matt Barzal and Law­son Crouse also scored at Helsinki Ice Hall.

“We like win­ning,” said Marner, who was se­lected fourth over­all by the Toronto Maple Leafs in last sum­mer’s NHL draft. “Ev­ery­one played really well tonight, we had great depth, ev­ery­one got a point on our team, al­most. Any line can score on our team.”

Ma­son McDon­ald faced 11 shots in to­tal — none in the third pe­riod — only al­low­ing a goal on a de­flec­tion off the skate of Dan­ish for­ward Alexan­der True.

“I can’t re­mem­ber when I faced that lit­tle,” said McDon­ald, who said he worked hard to stay fo­cused in the third pe­riod. “It had to be pee­wee or some­thing.”

It was likely McDon­ald’s last start of the pre­lim­i­nary round. It’s ex­pected he will give way to Macken­zie Black­wood to­day when the Cana­di­ans face Switzer­land (0-2). Black­wood had to serve the fi­nal two games of an eight-game sus­pen­sion be­fore suit­ing up for Canada.

“I feel good about my game,” said McDon­ald. “I don’t know who’s go­ing tomorrow. We’ll find out shortly and then just go from there.”

Sel­drup made 52 saves in net for Den­mark (1-1), which plays Swe­den (2-0) Wed­nes­day.

Marner and Strome, who are good friends off the ice, were split up for this game, with Marner join­ing Point and Quen­neville and Strome cen­tring Jake Vir­ta­nen and Bren­dan Per­lini.

At Sun­day’s prac­tice, Marner, Strome and Per­lini skated on a line while on Satur­day, Marner and Strome were with three dif­fer­ent wingers at var­i­ous points in the game.

“It doesn’t really mat­ter who you’re on the ice with,” said Strome. “There’s 13 for­wards on this team who can play with any­one. Ev­ery­one puts up good num­bers with their Cana­dian Hockey League team.

“It’s not like there’s no goal scor­ers on this for­ward group, ev­ery­one can put pucks in the net, any­one can set up plays, so it’s easy to play with any­one.”

Ac­cord­ing to Marner, he and Strome only learned of their new lines shortly be­fore Mon­day’s game.

“In a per­fect world, you’d like to keep them to­gether,” said Lowry. “It wasn’t work­ing. We weren’t gen­er­at­ing enough as a group. Th­ese guys, they’re fine with that. They rel­ish the op­por­tu­nity to play with dif­fer­ent guys.

‘It’s not like there’s no goal scor­ers on this for­ward group, ev­ery­one can put pucks in the net, any­one can set up plays, so it’s easy to play with any­one’

— Cana­dian for­ward Dy­lan Strome, on the line changes by coach Dave Lowry for the Den­mark game

SE AN KILPATRICK / THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Canada’s John Quen­neville cel­e­brates his sec­ond-pe­riod goal against Den­mark Mon­day in Helsinki.

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