Canada’s Sam Steel (23) celebrates his goal with teammate Jordan Kyrou (25) against Denmark’s Emil Gransoe (1) and Christian Larsen (4) during first period IIHF World Junior Championship preliminary action in Buffalo, N.Y., on Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canada clinches first in Group A at world championship

Kelowna’s Cal Foote earns three assists in win over Denmark at World Junior Hockey Championship

Kelowna’s Cal Foote had three assists as Canada skated to an 8-0 win over Denmark at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship on Saturday.

The win clinches first place in Group A and now Canada will have to wait until the end of preliminary round play on Sunday to find out who they will face in the quarter-finals on Tuesday, Jan. 2. Team Canada, which also includes captain Dillon Dubé (Cochrane, Alta./Kelowna Rockets, WHL) and former Penticton Vees alumni Dante Fabbro (Coquitlam, B.C./Boston University, HE), will open the medal round against the fourth place team in Group B.

Related: Canada loses to U.S. in shootout at World Juniors outdoor game

“I liked our focus and we played the right way. Discipline – only two penalties — and that’s what we need every game,” said Dominique Ducharme, head coach of Team Canada. “We’ve been through a lot in four games, lived (through) different situations and I think we’re adapting well and learning; now we’re ready to start the final round.”

Canada spread around the scoring against the Danes – seven players scored goals, and 15 of the 20 skaters recorded at least one point. Foote (Kelowna, B.C./Kelowna, WHL) with three assists, while Michael McLeod (Mississauga, Ont,/Mississauga, OHL) and Alex Formenton (King City, Ont./London, OHL) added a goal and a helper apiece.

I think tonight we played a full 60 minutes and that’s a good note to end on heading into the elimination games,” said Dubé.

Carter Hart (Sherwood Park, Alta./Everett, WHL) made 18 saves to record the shutout.

Robert Thomas (Aurora, Ont./London, OHL) was first on the board for the Canadians, stuffing a shot short-side on Danish netminder Emil Gransoe just 3:52 in.

Howden got his first at 17:21, banging in a loose puck, and Sam Steel (Sherwood Park, Alta./Regina, WHL) found a rebound in the crease with 20.4 seconds left in the first period to make it 3-0 after 20 minutes.

A pair of goals midway through the second period pushed the advantage to five; Cale Makar (Calgary, Alta./University of Massachusetts, HE) snapped in a power-play goal at 7:52 before Howden redirected a shot from Foote just 88 seconds later.

“It’s a very deep group. We knew that coming in. There’s lots of guys that can play lots of different roles and put the puck in the net. We have a really skilled, fast group, but guys who are willing adapt to any role. When you get that type of group it’s kind of amazing to see,” said Howden.

Formenton made good on a mini-breakaway less than four minutes in, going upstairs in a hurry over the shoulder of Gransoe, and McLeod jumped on a turnover at the Danish blue-line and wired in the seventh Canadian goal at 9:03.

Related: Speed and depth key to Canada’s junior team

Drake Batherson (New Minas, N.S./Cape Breton, QMJHL) finished the scoring at 12:26, redirecting a feed from Foote for another power-play goal.

Hart came up big early, stopping Joachim Blichfeld on a pair of first-period breakaways, and turned aside seven shots in each of the final two periods to finish the shutout.

The bronze and gold medal games will be played on Friday, Jan. 5.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Princeton RCMP make quick arrest in armed robbery after ‘brief struggle’

Princeton RCMP have arrested a suspect in connection with an armed robbery… Continue reading

Help sought in developing family practices in South Okanagan and Similkameen

An estimated 15,000 people in region do not have a family doctor

One person taken to hospital after Penticton car crash

Crash occurred at Martin Street and Nanaimo Avenue on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

Penticton Vees extend streak to six wins as they enter home stretch

The final eight games of the season are all home games.

Pioneer families lived in Summerland’s Prairie Valley area

Darke and Dale families played roles in community’s early history

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

Animal lovers cautioned against feeding urban deer – even if they beg at the window

Even if the deer press their little faces against your kitchen window… Continue reading

Highway 1 closed near Golden for high avalanche danger

DriveBC does not give an estimation for reopening

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Most Read