In terms of hockey fundamentals, Canada white and Russia put on a clinic tonight at the North Peace Arena. The game was scoreless after 40 minutes because of some great defensive play, but the action opened up in the third and resulted with Canada white taking a 3-2 victory in pre-tournament action at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Canada white bench boss Scott Walker said both teams played well, and for a first game things couldn’t have been much better.
“It was a great effort by both teams. I thought the first period we were really good and really took it to them. Their goalie kept them in and then I thought in the second it flip flopped and our goalie kept us in. Third period was probably a little closer to even. Maybe we had a little bit of an edge. We got some good bounces and real good shots. All in all first game it was just about what we were looking for,” he said.
Standing tall in the Canadian crease was Matthew Welsh as he stopped 35 of 37 shots. Walker said whenever the Russians came with pressure, his goalie was equal to the task.
“He was right there when we needed him. Whenever there was controlled, sustained time in our end he stood tall but also froze the puck and gave us a chance to win,” he said.
Scoring for Canada white was Ryan McLeod, James Hamblin, and Owen Tippett.
The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will resume on Sunday with the start of the preliminary round. In Fort St. John Russia will take on Sweden at 2:30, while Canada red will face Finland at 7:00. In Dawson Creek it will be a battle of the two other Canadian squads as black will skate with white at 2:30, and the evening game has the United States and the Czech Republic at 7:00