Owen Power’s hat-trick lifted Canada to a 6-3 victory over the Czech Republic to open the Under-20 World Cup Hockey Championship in Edmonton on Sunday.
Power of Mississauga, Ont., Became the first Canadian defender to score three goals in a single match at the Men’s World Cup.
The first overall pick in this year’s NHL entry draft by the Buffalo Sabers scored a few power-play goals for Canada in the second period to break a 3-3 deadlock.
Cole Perfetti had three assists, Mason McTavish had a goal and an assist and defenders Donovan Sebrango and Olen Zellweger also scored for the hosts at Rogers Place.
Canada’s starting goal scorer Dylan Garand, who signed an entry-level contract with the New York Rangers last week, made 14 saves for the win.
Michal Gut had a goal and an assist and Stanislav Svozil and Pavel Novak also scored for what is now the Czech Republic after the Czech hockey federation adopted the name change of the country of “Czech Republic”.
Jakub Malek, a New Jersey Devils prospect, fired 30 shots in the loss.
– Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) December 27, 2021
Canada is arguably in the easier of the two pools alongside the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany and Austria. Defending champions United States, perennial rival Russia, Sweden, Slovakia and Switzerland include Pool B in Red Deer, Alta.
Canada take on Austria on Tuesday with a match the next day against Germany before the preliminary round on New Year’s Eve against the Finns.
In other matches on Sunday, Finland opened with a 3-1 win over Germany and the Swedes lost 6-3 to Russia in Red Deer.
The quarterfinals 2. January and semi-finals 4. January go for the medal games 5. January in Edmonton.
Canada fell 2-0 to the Americans in the 2021 final in Edmonton. That tournament was held without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tickets were sold for the 2022 edition, but the provincial government limited capacity for sporting events to 50 percent five days before it began. That limits attendance at Edmonton’s Rogers Place to a maximum of 9,320 and 3,555 in Red Deer’s Centrium.
While singing of “Let’s Go Canada” erupted on Rogers Place, the arena was not half full before Canada’s opening on Sunday. The third goal of Power was to put a piece of hat on the ice.
Zellweger scored a power-play goal at 13:22 of the third period with a pulse shot from the top of the faceoff circle that defeated Malek.
Canada made the most of an advantage of two men in the second period with Power’s one-timer from the top of the circle defeating Malek’s glove at 8:50.
Power completed their hat trick by tapping into a rebound during a goal-mouth scramble for another power-play goal at 10:15.
The Czechs lost assistant captain David Jiricek to an injured left knee in the second period when the defender clashed with Canadian Will Cuylle.
Canadian head coach Dave Cameron called a time-out in the first period when the Czechs struck twice in a span of 51 seconds to lead 3-1.
Sebrango and Power then lured the host country themselves. A single Sebrango converted a backhand feed from Perfetti out of the rush to score with 29 seconds left in the first.
When Power put the puck on the net after collecting a long rebound, his shot bounced off Malek and in the net 23 seconds after the Czechs took a two-goal lead.
Svozil, a defender with Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League, beat Zellweger and defeated Garand briefly. Kelowna Rockets ahead of Novak scored a power-play goal with a one-timer from the top of the faceoff circle.
Gut’s shot over Garand’s glove hit the goal camera and came out so fast that video rating was needed to set it up for a Czech goal at 7:42.
McTavish circled the offensive zone with the puck before firing a sharp shot that defeated Malek four minutes after the opening.
THE CANADIAN PRESS
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