Thankfully we didn’t have to see a shootout.
Team Canada defeated USA for the first time since 2014 at the World Junior Championship 6-4 to open up the 2020 tournament in Ostrava.
It’s not too often you win a hockey game with an .870 SV%, but Nico Daws managed to make it possible as he backstopped the red and white with 28 saves.
The Americans looked to be handing Canada a clobbering at the start, as the skilled PP units led them to a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
In the middle frame it was all Canada as Connor McMichael got them on the board, captain Barrett Hayton ties things up at two and Kelowna’s Nolan Foote put the squad up 3-2 on the powerplay.
In a game-changing moment, Ottawa prospect Shane Pinto scored mere milliseconds after the second period had ended, which would have made the game 3-3 going into the final frame.
In the third it was Arizona Coyotes forward Hayton with his second of the night to double the lead.
The red, white and blue weren’t going away without a fight though, Nic Robertson and Pinto chipped in a pair to tie the game at 4-4 with just over three minutes left.
Alexis Lafreniere, who had a goal and three assists to lead the way for Canada on offence, picked up the game winner just seven seconds later and Ty Dellandrea iced the game with an empty netter.
My two keys to the game for Canada were win the special teams battle (which they did) and outshoot their opponent (tied 32 each). Safe to say the Canadians can put the puck past the best of them, but can they play discipline hockey in there own zone? We’ll have to find out Saturday when Canada (1-0) faces Russia (0-1) at 1PM (EST).
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Photo credit – Hockey Canada (Twitter)