Edmonton – Canada Junior beat Sweden 4-3 in their first and only pre-season game at the World Junior Championships on Monday. This is what we took.
First trio of the round
When asked in the morning about having Joshua Roy alongside Conor Bedard and Mason McAvish in training the day before, head coach Dave Cameron was stingy in the comments. He curtly dropped “This trio is not cast in stone.” The three talented strikers did nothing to boost his enthusiasm in the evening.
Bedard, who will be in the spotlight this week after his performance in the first edition of the tournament, looked like no other player in the second round. He was rarely in a position to use his sore wrist shot and was the target of a violent physical examination in the second period.
“I’ve proven to the leaders that I deserve my place”
McTavish scored the team’s second goal in Power play.
The three partners began to stretch in the third period. Roy hit the target in a breakup early in the engagement. Bedard hit the post about ten minutes before the end of the match. Let’s see if that’s enough for Cameron to keep them together to start the tournament.
Zack Ostapchuk is listed at number 13e Canada striker when the squad lists were revealed before the match. Play like a guy whose aim is to upgrade.
Right from the start, the Vancouver Giants striker stood out with a powerful shot in the shoulder. Later, he made his first goal by slipping a Swedish defender into his pocket before running away towards the opposing goalkeeper. His shot was blocked, but Nathan Gaucher followed him in the back and finished the job.
In a match punctuated by several penalty kicks, Ostapchuk had the usual role of taking penalty kicks.
Harder to pass the test
Gaucher, who will likely give up if Ostapchuk breaks into the top 12, has done nothing worth disqualifying. In a more retired role and in a position (wing) not for him at his club, the young Remparts de Québec actor scored a goal and went on to stick his nose in traffic whenever the opportunity arose. Albert Schauberg visited when he got a little closer to the Canadian goalkeeper after the whistle. He had some shortened ice starting late in the second half and had more chances to get equal strength in the third. He definitely passed the test.
Dufour’s new role
William Dufour scored 56 goals last season with St. John C. Dogs, and turned into a defensive specialist on his first real test with ECJ. Cameron used it profusely in 4-on-5, where he did an honest job. Dufour had bad luck in the first period when his blades failed to glide twice during a Swedish power play. A short time later, he seemed to cut himself blocking the playing field, ending a long period of pain. In general, he seemed to blend in well with his new role.
Garand feature in the network
Dylan Garand and Sebastian Koussa co-worked with The Canadian Network.
The first was perfect in front of the 14 shots he got. He saved two great gauntlets at the expense of Theodor Niederbach in the first period, then fired the gauntlets again after Oscar Olson in the second.
Koussa scored three times in twelve shots. Niederbach, Jonathan Licremäcki and William Wallander beat him.
For their part, the Swedes granted permission to holder Jesper Walstedt, who is perhaps the best goalkeeper of the tournament.
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