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WJC 2019 Day 1 Recap

 

The 2019 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship got underway in Vancouver and Victoria, BC on Boxing Day, with Canada, the United States, the Czech Republic and Sweden claiming victories. Here’s a look at Day 1 action from Wednesday.

 

CANADA 14, DENMARK 0
For the first time in 26 years, two Canadians had hat-tricks in the same game at the World Junior Hockey Championship as Canada kicked things off with a commanding 14-0 win over Denmark at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC.

Maxime Comtois (Drummondville Voltigeurs) and Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) both brought hats to the ice, with the former joining Taylor Raddysh (2017), Brayden Schenn (2011), Simon Gagne (1999) and Mario Lemieux (1983) as the fifth member of Canada’s National Junior Team to record a four-goal game.

“Right from the get-go, he [Maxime Comtois] led the team,” said head coach Tim Hunter. “I talked to the team after the second period and said ‘You guys determine how you finish this game off because you’re going to play, not me.’ I was proud of the way they finished the game off and didn’t deviate, so he’s a big part of that.”

While Comtois scored four times, Frost finished with three goals and two assists and Brett Leason (Prince Albert Raiders) had two goals and two helpers. Florida Panthers prospect Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads) tallied twice while Jaret Anderson-Dolan (Spokane Chiefs), Jack Studnicka (Oshawa Generals) and MacKenzie Entwistle (Hamilton Bulldogs) added singles. Vegas Golden Knights first round pick Cody Glass (Portland Winterhawks) chipped in with four assists while defenceman Evan Bouchard (London Knights) had three to his credit.

“Our offence was one of our strengths last year and it’s good to have that again this year,” Comtois said. “Everyone contributed to the win and it gives us confidence that everyone can put the puck in the back of the net and we’ll just try to continue to do our job as the tournament goes on.”

When all was said and done, Canada outshot Denmark 45-14 as goaltender Michael DiPietro (Ottawa 67’s) recorded the shutout.

Ian Scott (Prince Albert Raiders) will get the start on Thursday as Canada looks to build off a strong start, taking on Switzerland at 8pm ET/5pm PT.

GAME CENTRE • HIGHLIGHTS

 

UNITED STATES 2, SLOVAKIA 1
Trailing 1-0 entering the first period, the United States got a pair of quick goals from Mikey Anderson and Evan Barratt to climb ahead of their Slovakian counterparts for good in a 2-1 victory in Victoria, BC.

Samuel Hlavaj turned aside turned aside 32 shots for the Slovaks, keeping his team in the game despite being outshot 34-14.

Marek Korencik scored Slovakia’s lone goal 7:17 into the second period before their lead came undone in the third.

Boston Bruins prospect Kyle Keyser (Oshawa Generals) turned aside 13 of the 14 shots he faced to record the win for the United States.

The Americans are in the hunt for their fifth-ever gold medal this year after last capturing world supremacy two years ago in Toronto and Montreal.

GAME CENTREHIGHLIGHTS

 

CZECH REPUBLIC 2, SWITZERLAND 1 – OT
David Kvasnicka scored 52 seconds into overtime to give the Czech Republic a 2-1 tournament-opening victory in a hard-fought matchup against Switzerland. Boston Bruins prospect Jakub Lauko (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies) picked up an assist on the game winner as the Czechs overcame a determined effort from a hard-working Swiss squad.

Nando Eggenberger (Oshawa Generals) opened the scoring, putting Switzerland on the board 7:45 into the second period before Czech forward Martin Kaut tied things under two minutes later.

Kvasnicka’s overtime winner came on a low wrist shot through traffic as the Czechs got off to a positive start as they seek to return to the podium at the World Juniors for the first time since 2005.

GAME CENTREHIGHLIGHTS

 

SWEDEN 2, FINLAND 1
Vegas Golden Knights prospect Erik Brannstrom scored twice from the back end, guiding Sweden past neighbouring rival Finland by a score of 2-1 in Victoria, BC.

Adam Boqvist (London Knights) picked up assists on both goals before Finland’s Aarne Talvitie made things interesting, putting Finland on the board with 3:34 left in regulation.

Finnish netminder Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Sudbury Wolves) made 28 saves in the loss across from Samuel Ersson who backstopped Sweden to victory.

GAME CENTREHIGHLIGHTS

 

For full coverage of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship visit IIHF.com and HockeyCanada.ca.

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