Matt Barzal celebrates the 3-1 goal (Roni Rekomaa/AFP/Getty Images)
Team Canada picked up its first win of the 2016 World Junior Championship thanks to a convincing 6-1 victory over Denmark. The Danes struck first, but Canada rallied back with six unanswered goals and outshot Denmark 58-11.
Denmark put a brief scare into the Canadians on the third day of action at the World Junior Championship, but the scare was exactly that: brief.
After Denmark took a 1-0 lead with a goal off the skate of Mathias From, Canada dominated the remainder of the game. Anthony Beauvillier notched a tap-in 1:03 after From’s goal, and the Canadians broke the game open in the second period with four tallies in little less than 10 minutes in the second frame.
Entering the game, one of Canada’s major focuses was to start producing more shots on goal, and that certainly wasn’t an issue Monday.
Canada outshot Denmark 58-11 and had dominated the Danes for long stretches of time. Truthfully, Denmark had few stretches of sustained possession in the game, with most of their shots coming on one-off attempts. Not even during their power play attempts — of which the Danes had two — were they able to muster much. Denmark didn’t get a single shot on goal in the third.
One of the most impressive and most dangerous skaters for either team on the evening was Matt Barzal, who was also named the player of the game for Canada. He scored early on a patient play on the power play and had four shots on goal on the evening. Barzal was one of four players to notch two points on the evening, with the others being Dylan Strome, Mitch Marner and Brayden Point.
Barzal’s play was impressive, but arguably the nicest goal of the contest came off the stick of Strome, who had six shots — the most of any Canadian player — in the game. In the third period with Canada on the power play, Strome used a perfect curl and drag move around a Danish defender before rifling the puck top corner past Denmark’s Mathias Seldrup.
Even though he allowed six goals, Seldrup was named the Danish player of the game with an incredible 52-save performance.
Canada is back in action Tuesday against Switzerland, and it’ll mark the debut for goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood, who has missed the first two games of the tournament due to suspension. Blackwood was leading the OHL with a .932 save percentage before coming to the tournament. Mason McDonald has started both of Canada’s games so far in the competition and has posted a 2.52 GAA and .861 SP.