Exactly one year after a shocking shootout loss to France opened Canada’s World Championship on a sour note, Canada exacted revenge with a victory of their own, riding two goal performances from both Tyler Seguin and Jordan Eberle to win 4-3 and retain the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
As they have been doing on their torrid win streak in Prague, Canada came out firing early and often, eventually converting for the opening goal on a power play midway through the first, when Jason Spezza fed Seguin a blueline pass to the side of the net, where Seguin, on a bad angle, wired a shot over French keeper Ronan Quemener for the 1-0 lead. Eberle added a goal of his own just 66 seconds later, lifting a wrist shot over Quemener from the top of the slot that stunned the already shaken goalie from the first goal for the 2-0 lead.
Les Bleus would cut the deficit with the clock winding down on the first, when captain Laurent Meunier found him alone in front of Canadian goalie Martin Jones, ripping a wrister past Jones for France’s first goal. France struggled to get many shots on Jones, being outshot 19-6 in the first and a brutal 15-1 ratio in the second period, being forced to the penalty kill, which would eventually cost them in the second, when Seguin’s second goal, a near repeat of his first (Spezza from the point, to Seguin at the side of the net) trickled past Quemener to put things at 3-1 after two.
The French, however, would not go down easy, mounting a furious comeback early in the third. First, it was Yorick Treille, redirecting a Meunier point shot blast past Jones, into the far corner of the net to cut the lead to 3-2. And just 35 seconds later, it was Damien Fleury redirecting a point shot that deflected off Canadian defenseman Brent Burns over Jones to tie the game at 3-3. With flashes of last year’s collapse apparently on Canada’s mind, Canada’s offense found its groove, again on the power play, when Eberle tipped in a Burns point shot blast through Quemener, five hole, to retake the lead. And despite being outshot by Les Bleus 14-6 in the third, and an extra attacker, Canada managed to avoid extra time and take the 4-3 win.
With the win, Canada retains the International Hockey Lineal Championship, their 60th title, which they won from Sweden three days ago in Group A play. This marks the first meeting since the aforementioned 3-2 French shootout win at last year’s Worlds, exactly one year to the day prior. Canada, after three days rest for this game, gets just one day before facing Switzerland next in their penultimate Group A matchup, with the IHLC up for grabs.
10:00 – PEN – Hecquefeuille, hooking
11:26 – PP GOAL – Seguin (Spezza, Barrie)
12:32 – GOAL – Eberle (MacKinnon, Duchene)
16:31 – GOAL – Desrosiers (Meunier, Auvitu)
28:53 – PEN – Duchene, slashing
28:53 – PEN – MacKinnon, roughing
28:53 – PEN – Dieudé-Fauvel, roughing
36:49 – PEN – Fleury, interference
37:02 – PP GOAL – Seguin (Spezza)
39:54 – PEN – Da Costa, hooking
41:22 – PEN – Seguin, high sticking
44:58 – PEN – Hamhuis, hooking
46:21 – PP GOAL – Treille (Meunier)
46:56 – GOAL – Fleury
48:45 – PEN – Trabichet, boarding
49:18 – PP GOAL – Eberle (Burns, Crosby)
52:53 – PEN – Da Costa, hooking
W: Jones (18-21)
L: Quemener (39-43)
SHOTS ON GOAL
19+15+9 = 43
6+1+14 = 21
Goaltenders: Martin Jones, Mike Smith. Defence: Tyson Barrie, Brent Burns, Aaron Ekblad, Dan Hamhuis (A), Jake Muzzin, David Savard, Patrick Wiercioch. Forwards: Sean Couturier, Sidney Crosby (C), Matt Duchene, Jordan Eberle, Tyler Ennis, Claude Giroux, Taylor Hall, Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan O’Reilly, Brayden Schenn, Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza (A), Tyler Toffoli.
Goaltenders: Florian Hardy, Ronan Quemener. Defence: Yohann Auvitu, Florian Chakiachvili, Benjamin Dieudé-Fauvel, Kévin Hecquefeuille (A), Jonathan Janil, Antonin Manavian, Teddy Trabichet. Forwards: Charles Bertrand, Valentin Claireaux, Teddy Da Costa, Julien Desrosiers, Damien Fleury, Anthony Guttig, Loïc Lamperier, Laurent Meunier (C), Damien Raux, Anthony Rech, Antoine Roussel, Sacha Treille, Yorick Treille (A).