Maxime Comtois (Victoriaville Tigres) scored 4:31 into overtime to lift Canada to a 3-2 victory over host Slovakia to open the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Bratislava.
The unassisted marker pushed Canada to victory after the Slovaks staged a third period comeback, scoring with 1:02 remaining in the third period to force overtime.
Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads) opened the scoring just 1:09 into the opening frame with assists from Michael Rasmussen (Tri-City Americans) and Joseph Veleno (Saint John Sea Dogs).
Comtois extended the Canadian lead to 2-0 at 6:25 with helpers going to Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack) and MacKenzie Entwistle (Hamilton Bulldogs).
After a scoreless second period, Slovakian goals from Michal Ivan and Filip Krivosik drew the score event at two despite Canada taking the shooting column 43-23.
Comtois’ winner helped Canada get off to a 1-0 start as they square off against Russia on Tuesday.
“I thought that we improved in a lot of areas compared to our first exhibition game,” said Canadian head coach Paul McFarland (Kingston Frontenacs). “We also understand that we will have to find another level of consistency and effort for tomorrow’s contest versus Russia.”
Ian Scott (Prince Albert Raiders) turned aside 21 shots in goal to backstop Canada to victory.
OTHER SCORES FROM DAY 1:
Sweden 3, Russia 1
United States 4, Finland 3 OT
— USA: Chmelevski (Ottawa 67’s – 1G, 1A), Lodnia (Erie Otters – 1G, 1A)
Czech Republic 6, Switzerland 1
Team Canada includes 20 players from the Canadian Hockey League including 11 from the Ontario Hockey League, six from the Western Hockey League and three from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Canada has won gold at the annual summer under-18 tournament eight consecutive years.
For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca, or follow along through social media at www.facebook.com/hockeycanada, www.twitter.com/hockeycanada and www.twitter.com/hc_men.