LILLEHAMMER – Canada cruised to a 6-0 win against Norway and will now get ready for the Youth Olympic Games men’s ice hockey playoff round, set to start tomorrow with a semi-final date against Finland.
The Canadians closed out the preliminary round with a 3-1 record, their only loss coming against Russia in the opening game.
“So far so good, we kept the momentum in this game and hopefully we can keep it going tomorrow,” said defenceman Declan Chisolm, who had two assists in the game.
“I’d evaluate us as a team in progression,” said head coach Martin Raymond. “We’ve made great progress and I think it shows.”
Against Norway Canada opened the scoring at 6:02 of the first period, Luka Burzan finding Conor Roberts on the doorstep for the 1-0 lead.
Then in the second period forward Tristen Nielsen came out from behind the Norwegian the net with the puck and found Carson Focht in front of the net with a quick pass to go up 2-0.
Held without a shot on net and forced to play within their own zone for the majority of the game, Norwegian frustrations boiled over midway through the second with tow penalties on Sondre Bolling Vaaler and Lars Christian.
Norway was able to kill of the two-man advantage, but soon after Canada went up 3-0 on a goal from Ian McShane on a counter play following a Norwegian two-on-one that was stopped by goalie Olivier Rodrigue, who otherwise faces little .
Then Aidan Burzan made a great one-on-one deke on a Norwegian defender and scored to put the Canadians ahead by four. Then a shot by Jared McIsaac with a shot from the top circle after goalie Theo Rooseboom De Vries was caught out of his net putting the game out of reach for Norway.
Despite the loss, and a rough tournament that did not get Norway a win in four games, the Norwegian team was grateful for the experience of playing with the world’s top youth teams. The U18 team will compete in the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World CHampionship Division I Group A in two months, possibly with one or the other player from this tournament here.
“I think it was great for Norway to meet the best in the world”, said captain Sondre Bolling Valler. “Norwegian youth hockey is improving and it’s important to see how they do it.”
“I think we improved throughout this tournament and played our best game today,”said head coach Rene Hansen “We are a B-Group nation and we know the difference between the nations in the A group is big, but it was good for the boys to compete and see how the best play. We measured them on their work and they worked really hard today.”