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Canada’s first game of the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) world junior championships was a near record-setting performance offensively for Canada. They pelted Denmark and defeated them by the score of 14-0 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Boxing Day.
Denmark had no chance going in – it was target practice. Canada got a practice in; they were not challenged at any time during the game.
It doesn’t get easier for Denmark as they go right back at it on the 27th against powerhouse Russia at 1:00 pm. It is most likely that they will be 0-2 to start the tournament and likely down by 20 goals.
“We needed the practice. That’s why I kept putting the powerplays out there when we didn’t need them because we still need to improve,” said Canada Head Coach Tim Hunter.
Morgan Frost led the way for Canada with five points including a hat-trick. The Aurora, ON native earned the Canada Player of the Game award for his efforts. The 19-year-old has played all four years of his junior career with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the Ontario Hockey League. He has earned 58 points in 32 games played so far this season, which puts him third in the league points race. After 67 games last year, he scored 42 times and assisted on 70 others for 112 points and he finished second in the points race. The Philadelphia Flyers drafted him 27th overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
All three of his goals against Denmark were different. His third was a wrist shot from the left side into the open net. Nick Suzuki slid him a sharp tape-to-tape pass through the slot that he couldn’t miss on at 11:50 of the second period. His first goal was a beautiful dangle where he went five-hole, unmolested on goaltender Mads Soegaard, who got pulled at 2:33 of the third for backup William North. Frost’s second goal was off a very quickly released wrister, which he shot through a defender’s legs and short-side knee height past Soegaard; he had no chance on it.
Nineteen players hit the scoresheet, while seven recorded goals. Maxime Comtois scored four times, while Cody Glass was magic with the passing as he picked up four assists. Even Bouchard earned three assists on the night. The 19-year-old Comtois hails from Longueuil, QC. He was drafted in the second round and 50th overall by the Anaheim Ducks in 2017. The Victoriaville Tigres forward has played 10 games in the NHL picking up seven points early this season. He has also played four games in the AHL with the San Diego Gulls scoring once in four games.
The Canadians took 45 shots on the Denmark goaltenders, while Denmark managed just 14 on Michael Dipietro. The Vancouver Canucks future goaltender earned the shutout for Canada.
Canada gets right back to work with a game against Switzerland on Thursday the 27th at 5:00 pm.
Elsewhere in the tournament, The Czech Republic defeated Switzerland by the score of 2-1 at 1:00 pm on Boxing Day. The US defeated the Slovaks by the same score at Save-on-Foods Memorial Arena in Victoria at 3:30 pm, while Sweden beat the neighbouring Finns by the score of 2-1 in Victoria.
Four games are on the slate for the 27th with Russian taking on Denmark, Slovakia vs. Sweden, Switzerland is up against Canada at 5:00 pm in Vancouver and Finland will take on Kazakhstan at 7:30 pm in Victoria.