Canada is on a roll at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Kyle Turris scored two power-play goals and goaltender Steve Mason turned aside 22 shots to pace Canada to a 2-0 win over Slovakia on Thursday.
It was Canada’s second triumph in as many days at this year’s World Juniors, and the win came less than a day after an emotional tournament-opening 3-0 triumph over the Czech Republic.
Canada, the three-time defending gold medalist, has now won 20 consecutive games at the tournament. The last loss was to the United States in the 2004 gold medal game in Helsinki.
The Canadians have allowed only 19 goals during the 20-game winning streak, and they have not surrendered an even strength goal since the second game of the 2007 tournament against the Americans, a streak of more than 370 minutes.
Mason was quick to credit the work of Canada’s defencemen with keeping the streaks alive in the Czech Republic.
“The defence was unbelievable at blocking shots,” he said. “We are fortunate to have this bunch of guys in front of us.”
Mason registered Canada’s second straight shutout, following the 44-save performance of Jonathan Bernier against the Czechs.
“We knew coming into here that we have a lot of confidence in our goalies,” said defenceman Luke Schenn.
After a goalless first period, the Canadians capitalized on a two-man advantage in the first minute of play in the second to take the lead.
Moving the puck quickly on the power play, Turris – named Canada’s Player of the Game – was parked between the faceoff circles and deflected a point shot by Canadian captain Karl Alzner past Slovak netminder Július Hudáček just 54 seconds after the period’s opening face-off.
Drew Doughty was the workhorse on Canada’s second goal of the game in the third period, as the blueliner made a clever spin-o-rama move to elude a Slovak forward and then broke in on a 3-on-1 with Turris, who took Doughty’s pass and converted into a wide open net for the insurance marker.
“Drew just made a great move to get away from the Slovak guy and fed Kyle a perfect pass,” said Schenn. “It was great to get that second goal and give us some breathing room.”
It was the second straight game in which the Canadians scored two power-play goals. John Tavares scored twice with the man advantage in the victory over the Czechs.
Hudáček was the only reason Thursday’s game was close, producing an effort similar to the one turned in by Bernier in Canada’s win over the host Czechs. He was a logical choice for Slovakia’s Player of the Game award.
Mason wasn’t as busy as his Slovak counterpart but was sharp when he had to be, preserving the shutout with just under three minutes left in the third period with an acrobatic save on a Slovakian power play.
Canada’s takes to the ice in Pardubice next on Saturday, when they face Sweden.
“They are a good team and they will be ready for us,” said Schenn.
00:27 – 🇸🇰 PEN – Marcinko, interference
02:11 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Marchand, hooking
07:25 – 🇸🇰 PEN – Skokan, hooking
11:35 – 🇸🇰 PEN – Jančovič, hooking
12:44 – 🇸🇰 PEN – Kozák, tripping
19:10 – 🇸🇰 PEN – Jančovič, high sticking
20:14 – 🇸🇰 PEN – Biro, hooking
20:54 – 🇨🇦 PP2 GOAL – Turris (Alzner, Doughty)
23:41 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Schenn, tripping
28:34 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Boychuk, cross checking
31:15 – 🇸🇰 PEN – team, too many players
31:23 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Giroux, hooking
34:08 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Holzapfel, elbowing
37:13 – 🇸🇰 PEN – Marcinko, high sticking
40:00 – 🇸🇰 PEN – Biro, boarding
44:06 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Matthias, slashing
45:18 – 🇸🇰 PEN – Bališ, interference
48:35 – 🇸🇰 PEN – Beňa, interference
51:57 – 🇸🇰 PEN – Bališ, hooking
53:20 – 🇨🇦 PP GOAL – Turris (Doughty)
56:53 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Turris, delay of game
W: 🇨🇦 Mason (22-22)
L: 🇸🇰 Hudáček (30-32)
SHOTS ON GOAL
🇨🇦 11+13+8 = 32
🇸🇰 9+4+9 = 22
🇨🇦 Goaltenders: Jonathan Bernier, Steve Mason. Defence: Karl Alzner, Drew Doughty, Josh Godfrey, Thomas Hickey, Logan Pyett, Luke Schenn, P.K. Subban. Forwards: Zach Boychuk, Colton Gillies, Claude Giroux, Matthew Halischuk, Riley Holzapfel, Stefan Legein, Brad Marchand, Shawn Matthias, Wayne Simmonds, Steven Stamkos, Brandon Sutter, John Tavares, Kyle Turris.
🇸🇰 Goaltenders: Tomáš Hiadlovský, Július Hudáček. Defence: Milan Bališ, Adam Beňa, Marek Biro, Marek Ďaloga, Michal Kozák, Kristian Krajčík, Juraj Mikuš, Marek Zúkal. Forwards: Erik Čaládi, Matej Češík, Oliver Ďuriš, Dalimir Jančovič, Milan Jurík, Patrik Lušňák, Tomáš Marcinko, Ivan Roháč, Dávid Skokan, Marek Slovák, Jakub Suja, Július Šinkovič.
|🇨🇦 CANADA (C)||vs.||SLOVAKIA 🇸🇰|
(since 26 Dec 2006)
|Last Title||04 Aug 2005|
|First IHLC Meeting (CAN vs. SVK)
🇨🇦 CAN 7-2 SVK 🇸🇰 – 01 Jan 1997 – WJC – Geneva 🇨🇭
|Previous IHLC Meeting (CAN vs. SVK)
🇨🇦 CAN 6-1 SVK 🇸🇰 – 20 Dec 2007 – EX – Púchov 🇸🇰
|Last IHLC Game
🇨🇦 CAN 3-0 CZE 🇨🇿 – 26 Dec 2007 – WJC – Pardubice 🇨🇿
|Next IHLC Game
🇸🇪 SWE 4-3 CAN 🇨🇦 – 29 Dec 2007 – WJC – Pardubice 🇨🇿
Article Credit: Hockey Canada