CANADA 8 – BELARUS 3
They traded goals early, but Canada proved to be too much for Belarus on Friday at the World Under-18 Hockey Championship in Magnitogorsk, Russia.
Canada improved to 2-0 as Serron Noel (Oshawa Generals) led the way with two goals and an assist while rookie phenom Alexis Lafreniere (Rimouski Oceanic) tacked on a goal and an assist.
Canada led 5-2 after one period as Jack McBain, Raphael Lavoie (Halifax Mooseheads), Lafreniere, Jared McIsaac (Halifax Mooseheads) and Noel all lit the lamp. Liam Foudy (London Knights) added a second period marker before Noel and Ty Dellandrea (Flint Firebirds) picked up third period tallies.
“We want to be a four-line hockey club, we want everybody to contribute and everybody to feel [they’re of] value to our group,” commented Canada head coach Don Hay (Kamloops Blazers). “I think we’re doing that. I thought we had a great start. [The play was] going back-and-forth for a little while, then we were able to establish ourselves and our presence in front of the net.
“Everybody has a real good spirit within our group, and we’re growing – and I like that the best. We did a lot of good things, and we’re looking forward to getting a day off and then moving on [to play Switzerland on Sunday].”
Despite the lopsided win, Canada only outshot Belarus 28-27 as goaltender Colten Ellis (Rimouski Oceanic) picked up his second straight win.
Other Canadian bright spots included Joe Veleno (Drummondville Voltigeurs) who picked up two assists in his tournament debut while Allan McShane (Oshawa Generals) also logged two helpers.
A crowd of 6,818 took in the matchup as Canada continued the winning trend headed into a day off on Saturday.
OTHER WU18 SCORES FROM FRIDAY:
Finland 7 (2-0-0-0) – France 0 (0-0-0-2)
United States 8 (1-0-0-1) – Switzerland 5 (0-0-0-2)
SUI: Stephane Patry (Erie Otters) – 1G
Slovakia 5 (1-0-0-1) – Czech Republic 2 (0-0-0-1)
CZE: Libor Zabransky (Kelowna Rockets) – 1A
For full coverage of the 2018 IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship, visit IIHF.com.