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Cozens’ five-point performance paces Canada past Belarus 11-1

 

UMEA, Sweden – Canada brought Belarus’ Cinderella 2-0 start at the U18 Worlds crashing down to earth on Sunday, climbing out to a 3-0 first period lead before tacking on five more goals in the second enroute to an 11-1 victory.

Dylan Cozens (Lethbridge Hurricanes) led Canada with two goals and three assists while Nathan Legare (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) and Alex Newhook also scored twice in a game that saw Canada outshoot Belarus 60-42.

“We took them a little bit lightly bit in our exhibition game [a 6-5 overtime win] and they came out hard,” said Cozens post-game. “They were also 2-and-0 in this tournament, so we know they’re a good team, they battle hard and we weren’t taking them lightly today. To get out there, play a hard game for a full 60 minutes, stay even keel and come out how we did, we’re really happy with our game.”

Connor Zary (Kamloops Blazers), Jordan Spence (Moncton Wildcats) and Newhook put Canada up 3-0 in the first period before the floodgates opened 34 seconds into the second on a goal from Braden Schneider (Brandon Wheat Kings). Newhook, Cozens, Legare and Peyton Krebs (Winnipeg ICE) proceeded to light the lamp before Belarus’ Vitali Pinchuk broke up Nolan Maier’s (Saskatoon  shutout bid with 1:11 remaining.

Cozens, Legare and Samuel Poulin (Sherbrooke Phoenix) added third period markers while Jamieson Rees (Sarnia Sting) and Michael Vukojevic (Kitchener Rangers) picked up a pair of assists in the victory. Nolan Maier (Saskatoon Blades) turned aside 41 of 42 shots.

“We wanted to make a statement tonight and that was because of the respect we had for Belarus and how well they were playing in this tournament,” said Canadian head coach Brett Gibson. “Our guys played the right way all night long, and that was our most complete performance.”

Canada improves to 3-0 in the preliminary round and now prepares to face the Czech Republic on Tuesday at 1:30pm ET.

• GAME SUMMARY

OTHER WU18 SCORES FROM SUNDAY:

Sweden 5 – Slovakia 1
SVK: Maxim Cajkovic (Saint John Sea Dogs) – 1A

United States 6 – Russia 3

Czech Republic 4 – Finland 2
CZE: Marcel Barinka (Halifax Mooseheads) – 1A
CZE: Martin Lang (Kamloops Blazers) – 1G
CZE: Filip Prikryl (Saint John Sea Dogs) – 1A
CZE: Matej Toman (Prince George Cougars) – 1G

OTHER WU18 SCORES FROM SATURDAY:

Czech Republic 8 – Switzerland 2
CZE: Marcel Barinka (Halifax Mooseheads) – 2A
CZE: Simon Kubicek (Seattle Thunderbirds) – 1A
CZE: Martin Lang (Kamloops Blazers) – 2G
CZE: Filip Prikryl (Saint John Sea Dogs) – 1A

Russia 5 – Latvia 1

 

For full coverage of the 2019 IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship, visit IIHF.com.

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