Canada overpowers Danes
Canada overpowers Danes
Kyrou pots four in game delayed by power outage
Jordan Kyrou led the way with four goals. That tied the single-game U18 record, which he now shares with Russia's Alexander Ovechkin and Slovakia's Marian Gaborik, among others.
"Obviously that’s a great feeling," said Kyrou. "I didn’t think that was true, but I guess it is. Obviously I’m just really excited, and happy for the team."
Tyson Jost had two goals and three assists, and William Bitten had a goal and two assists.
Beck Malenstyn, Maxime Comtois, and Mason Shaw also scored for Canada. Dante Fabbro had three assists. Nearly every Canadian chipped in offensively.
There are few instances in international hockey history of the lights going out at the venue. The infamous “Piestany Punchup” at the 1987 World Juniors in Czechoslovakia saw local officials turn out the lights while Canada and the Soviet Union brawled, with both teams incurring lengthy IIHF suspensions.
But this was totally different. The power outage affected the greater Grand Forks area in addition to the Ralph Engelstad Arena.
"That doesn’t happen too often," said Jost, the Canadian captain who has committed to playing at the University of North Dakota next season. "Some guys were giving me the gears: ‘What the heck’s going on, Jost? Why are the lights going off in your rink?’ There were some good laughs. I was really proud of how we responded and bounced back after that."
Fans of both teams waited patiently and graciously, and play resumed at 21:00 local time. So it wasn't really one of the darkest moments in IIHF history.
Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup and Joachim Blichfeldt scored for Denmark.
"We came out in the first period and we were all excited about playing Canada and everything," said Schmidt-Svejstrup. "Suddenly it’s 2-2 and we thought we had a chance. We just saw Latvia almost beat Sweden, so you never know. Then there was that big break. I actually thought we were going to go out and be ready, but they went out and they scored three quick goals. It was kind of downhill from there."
Canadian goalie Stuart Skinner had an easy night as his team outshot Denmark 51-9.
On February 12, 1949, Canada recorded the most lopsided victory in IIHF World Championship history, beating Denmark 47-0. Times have changed, and the Danes often give Canada a good battle at the senior level now. But at the U18 level, Canada's depth is harder to combat, and it showed here.
Canada opened the scoring on its first shot at 1:05. Stanley sent a soft one from the left point that Kyrou tipped through Danish starter Mads-Emil Gransoe’s pads.
Just 26 seconds later, Malenstyn made it 2-0. He attempted a backhand pass on the rush that bounced back to him off defenceman Daniel Andersen, and then put the puck into the open short side.
The Danes temporarily bounced back with two quick goals of their own.
At 5:31, Daniel Nielsen came down the right side and dished it to Schmidt-Svejstrup, who powered a low drive inside Skinner’s right post.
At 6:10, Blichfeldt scored his second power play goal of the tournament just 12 seconds into Denmark’s first man advantage on a rising shot.
Despite outshooting Denmark 18-5 in the first period, Canada couldn’t pull ahead. But the tide would turn after the blackout delay.
"Our training staff did a great job with us," explained Jost. "They got some nutrition in us and we hopped on the bikes. Took off our skates and then we did a little dynamic warm-up. Then it also helped that we got that on-ice warm-up for six or seven minutes there."
Canada got right back to work in Period Two. It took just 27 seconds for Kyrou to enter the Danish zone and whiz one high past Gransoe.
The Canadians went up 4-2 on a flukey play at 6:30. Comtois centred the puck from behind the net and it went in off Denmark's Nikolaj Krag as he slid into his own netminder.
It was 5-2 on the power play at 7:21 when Shaw moved into the slot and tipped Pascal Laberge's shot home.
Another power play goal at 7:55 made it 6-2, as Bitten banged a rebound past goalie Kasper Krog, who briefly stepped in to replace Gransoe.
Kyrou parked himself on the doorstep and backhanded in a loose puck for the seventh Canadian goal at 14:13. Gransoe was back in net now.
In the third period, Kyrou notched his fourth on another close-range play at 4:26. Jost added goals 3:40 apart in the last half of the third to round out the scoring at 10-2.
"I loved it," said Jost of Kyrou's four-goal outing. "He’s a special player and he’s a great guy off the ice too. Whenever you see someone like that have that kind of success, you can’t feel anything but happy for him."
Next up for Canada is the Czech Republic on Saturday. Denmark faces Finland on Sunday.
"The goal is to build on the things we did well tonight," said Canadian coach Shaun Clouston. "Play as a team, play as a group of five on the ice. Make sure we do a good job through the neutral zone."
"I feel like we have to put it behind us," said Schmidt-Svejstrup of this shellacking. "We have an hour-long skate tomorrow. We’ll work on some stuff, and then maybe we can get something going against the Finns."
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