International Ice Hockey Federation

Canada shuts down Germany

Canada shuts down Germany

McDavid, Petan excel on Canadian PP

Published 28.12.2014 00:32 GMT-5 | Author Lucas Aykroyd
Canada shuts down Germany
MONTREAL, CANADA - DECEMBER 27: Germany's Kevin Reich #30 turns as Canada's Connor McDavid #17 scores Team Canada's first goal of the game during preliminary round action at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Underdog Germany battled host Canada but still fell short in its 2015 debut. Connor McDavid and Nic Petan had three points apiece in a 4-0 win.

Against Germany, McDavid, the projected #1 overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, looked more like the force he’s been expected to be in his second World Juniors. The 17-year-old centre racked up 51 points in just 18 games with the OHL’s Erie Otters before breaking his right hand in a November fight.

McDavid opened the scoring and set up Curtis Lazar’s 2-0 goal, both on first-period power plays, and then added another helper on Madison Bowey's third-period PP marker. Nic Petan helped out on all those goals as well, and currently leads the tournament with six points overall. Max Domi potted Canada's other goal.

"I’m rooming with [McDavid] and I’m always trying to get him relaxed," said Lazar, the Canadian captain. "I know last night there wasn’t much said. We got back to the room, and we really didn’t say a word: we just went to bed. That’s just how we are. We’re great, determined and dedicated athletes. He really did [step up] tonight."

Canada has won two straight games with a goal differential of 12-0.

Canadian goalie Eric Comrie, who earned a shutout in his World Junior debut, got the better of his German counterpart Kevin Reich. The Canadians outshot the Germans 31-17.

"I think we played a strong game tonight," said German assistant captain Dominik Kahun. "Lots of people said we would get killed, but we just played our game, played hard, and 4-0 is not bad for us. But we want to get better."

Now, Canada must gear up for its biggest preliminary round test so far on Monday. Finland, the defending champion, has had a slow start, losing 2-1 to both the United States (in overtime) and underdog Slovakia. But it can’t be forgotten that the Finns ended Canada’s dreams of gold last year with a 5-1 spanking in the semi-finals.

"They’re going to come out and push us hard, and it’s going to be a very good game," Bowey said about the Finns. "So we’ve got to focus on that and not take them lightly at all."

It will be easier to assess exactly how good Canada is after its meeting with Finland and the traditional, hotly anticipated clash with the United States on New Year’s Eve.

The Germans played solid defence, but their limited offensive skills denied them an opportunity to earn some points in the standings. Their road doesn't get any easier, as they take on the Americans on Sunday.

Reich made a superb glove stop on Max Domi from close range early on Canada’s first power play, and also stymied Lazar from the slot. But McDavid banged in a rebound in the crease at 4:11 to get Canada on the board.

Unlike Canada’s 8-0 opening rout of Slovakia, the Germans didn’t roll over. On a mid-first period Domi breakaway, Reich got his blocker on the London Knights captain’s attempt to go high forehand.

On Canada’s second man advantage of the night, McDavid sent a beautiful centering pass to Lazar, who snapped it in high to make it 2-0 at 12:42. It was the Ottawa Senators rookie’s first goal of the 2015 tournament.

Canada nearly took a three-goal lead at the end of the first, but defenceman Patrick Kurz swept away the puck just before it slid across the goal line.

The Germans hung tough in the second period, outshooting Canada 10-6. They came close to scoring with 4:11 left in the period, when defenceman Tim Bender’s gorgeous stretch pass gave Marc Michaelis a breakaway. But Comrie stood his ground.

Germany’s Nico Sturm (no relation to Marco Sturm, Germany’s all-time leading NHL scorer) took a minor and misconduct for checking from behind on Josh Morrissey in the Canadian end with 1:35 left in the middle frame. Still, the Canadians couldn’t extend their lead.

Likewise, Germany squandered an opportunity to get within one when Anthony Duclair took the same penalty as Sturm at 5:34 of the third.

Halfway through the final stanza, McDavid stole the puck in the German end and set up Jake Virtanen for a beautiful chance from the slot, which Reich gloved down smartly.

Domi and Sam Reinhart worked a stunning give-and-go to make it 3-0 at 9:14. Domi went behind the net and sent the puck back to Reinhart, whose backhand pass then found Domi open at the far side of the net, ready to convert.

With the man advantage, Bowey stretched Canada's lead to 4-0 with about four minutes left, thanks to a Wayne Gretzky-like play by Petan. The nifty Portland Winterhawks forward set up shop behind Reich's net and then sent a saucer pass to Bowey, who whipped it home top shelf.

"They’re a good team," said Canada's Shea Theodore. "They really took it to us in the second, but I thought we played pretty good in the third and finished them off."

Canadian coach Benoit Groulx faces an interesting decision in terms of whether to start Comrie or Zach Fucale against the Finns next. Neither netminder has surrendered a goal.

"When you’ve got two goalies with confidence going into the next game here, there’s not much more you can ask for," said Theodore. "They’re both good goalies."

It was the reunited Germany’s 13th straight loss to Canada, dating back to the 1992 IIHF World Junior Championship in Fussen, Germany. During the Cold War years, West Germany beat Canada once in 12 tries, a wild 7-6 affair in Kaufbeuren, West Germany on January 2, 1981.


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