The Ivan Hlinka Memorial U18 Tournament came to a close Saturday as Canada and Sweden fought for the gold medal. Earlier in the day Russia outlasted Finland for the bronze medal in a 4-3 win. Artur Kayumov had the game-winning goal off of a nice lob from German Rubtcov.
After that game, Canada wasted no time taking care of business with Sweden. In the first period, Canada had more goals than Sweden had shots.
Team Canada blew open the gates with a 4 goal, 16 shot 1st period. Sweden managed to put 1 shot on net courtesy of Alex Nylander, who was Sweden’s only bright spot in this game.
Scoring was started by Pierre-Luc Dubois who potted the first two goals of the game.
Dubois 2nd goal came off of a rebound, which seemed to be a recurring theme for the Swedish goaltenders. Defenders left Canadians untouched in the slot, allowing shots on shots on shots for Filip Gustavsson.
Michael McLeod had a pretty cool goal as he put the puck through the five-hole while falling to give Canada a 3-0 lead.
Tyler Benson scored the 4th goal of the period. This goal led to the Swedes changing goalies.
At the end of 1 period, Canada had a 4-0 lead.
Canada’s pressure did not slim down after the intermission. The team came out with the same mentality to keep Sweden in their own zone.
Tanner Kaspick put Canada on the board for a 5th time with a meaty goal.
Sweden added a bit more pressure this period thanks to some Canada penalties. Sweden also added to the scoreboard with a goal from Jesper Bratt.
Sweden was still no match for Canada. Canada’s penalty kill was far more superior to Sweden’s power play. They did a nice job of getting bodies on the puck and getting it out of the zone.
Canada also had a very good power play. The forwards cycled the puck extremely well and did a nice job of completing cross crease passes. Jordan Kyrou put Canada up 6-1 with this PP goal.
At the end of 2 periods, Canada leads 6-1.
Alex Nylander continued to be a standout for Team Sweden. He scored the club’s 2nd and 3rd goals to put Sweden in the game.
His second goal was an absolute snipe.
Sweden’s rally was cut short by a Beck Malenstyn goal, making the game 7-3.
The Ivan Hlinka is always a tournament to watch for early reports on NHL Draft prospects and this year is no different. Team Canada has many top 2016 NHL Draft prospects in their lineup, many of which were a big factor in this gold medal game win.
Another player that was a big force for Canada during the entire tournament was Brandon Wheat Kings forward Nolan Patrick.
Patrick is eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft and is the consensus #1 draft pick. During this tournament, he showed that he can step up in the clutch and play with the big boys. He will be counted on to have a good year with Brandon this year.
Pierre-Luc Dubois and Alexander Nylander were named players of the game for their respective teams.