Canada, led by multi-point games from Nathan MacKinnon and Tyson Barrie, crushed a hapless Slovenian squad to continue their cruising through Group B at the World Championships, winning 7-2 to retain the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
The Risi came out looking hapless early, leaving goalie Gašper Krošelj largely up to his own devices against the two-time defending World champions. Canada needed just 4:30 to open the scoring, with Barrie snapping a wrister top corner through traffic to take the early lead. MacKinnon would showcase the skill divide between these squads on his opening goal ten minutes later, as he grabbed his own rebound from a fallen Krošelj, and against four Slovene defenders, still managed to outpower them all and bang in his own rebound. Brayden Point added another 98 seconds later, with an attempted 2-on-1 pass to Mitch Marner deflecting off defender Luka Vidmar and in past Krošelj.
MacKinnon would add his second tally 4:44 into the second period, banging in an easy rebound after a nifty spin move by Claude Giroux was stopped by Krošelj. MacKinnon completed the hat-trick 59 seconds later on an absolute laser, ripping a wrister top corner off the post and in to take a 5-0 lead. Risi captain Jan Muršak managed to break Chad Johnson’s shutout 15:44 into the second, chipping in a heads-up pass from Robert Sabolič on a 2-on-1, catching defender Calvin de Haan flat-footed. However, any potential motivation from the goal was evaporated 87 seconds later, when Marner again showcased Slovenia’s sheer lack of competitiveness against a team like Canada, out-waiting three defenders (and a fallen Krošelj) before popping in the 6-1 goal into a wide open net.
The bounces were literally coming from all sides for Canada, as a Jeff Skinner pass attempt bounced off of forward Aleš Mušič, up in the air, and behind Krošelj and in to give Canada the 7-1 lead 7:07 into the third. And while Jan Urbas managed to bang in a second goal through traffic on a delayed penalty to shrink the lead to just five goals, the game was a complete disaster for Slovenia (while not terribly surprising), with Krošelj left to hang on all 51 Canadian shots (compared to Johnson’s mere 14), not to mention the defensive lapses and miscues from the Risi time and time again.
With the win, Canada retains their 63rd and current International Hockey Lineal Championship, which they won from Switzerland just before the World Championships, and retained in their opening victory against the Czechs. This marks the first-ever IHLC meeting between Canada and Slovenia, who fail to capture the IHLC in their seventh attempt in team history, and in their first attempt since the 2013 World Championships. Canada will now play Belarus tomorrow, continuing on their war path through Paris with the IHLC in tow.
01:24 – PEN – Muršak, hooking
04:30 – GOAL – Barrie (Simmonds, Konecny)
04:59 – PEN – Matheson, hooking
14:36 – GOAL – MacKinnon (Skinner, Barrie)
16:14 – GOAL – Point (Konecny)
24:44 – GOAL – MacKinnon (Giroux, de Haan)
25:14 – PEN – Muršak, high sticking
25:43 – PP GOAL – MacKinnon (Marner, Barrie)
28:25 – PEN – MacKinnon, slashing
29:23 – PEN – Demers, holding
35:44 – GOAL – Muršak (Sabolič, Pretnar)
37:11 – GOAL – Marner (Konecny)
37:48 – PEN – Goličič, embellishment
37:48 – PEN – de Haan, interference
47:07 – GOAL – Skinner (MacKinnon, Barrie)
54:42 – PEN – Rodman, hooking
57:55 – EA GOAL – Urbas (Kranjc, Pretnar)
W: Johnson (12-14)
L: Krošelj (44-51)
SHOTS ON GOAL
19+15+17 = 51
6+5+3 = 14
Goaltenders: Chad Johnson, Calvin Pickard. Defence: Tyson Barrie, Calvin de Haan, Jason Demers, Michael Matheson, Josh Morrissey, Marc-Édouard Vlasic (A). Forwards: Matt Duchene (A), Claude Giroux (C), Alex Killorn, Travis Konecny, Ryan O’Reilly, Nathan MacKinnon, Mitchell Marner, Brayden Point, Mark Scheifele, Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, Jeff Skinner.
Goaltenders: Gašper Krošelj, Matija Pintarič. Defence: Blaž Gregorc, Sabahudin Kovačević (A), Aleš Kranjc, Matic Podlipnik, Klemen Pretnar, Mitja Robar, Andrej Tavželj, Luka Vidmar. Forwards: Boštjan Goličič, Anže Kuralt, Jan Muršak (C), Aleš Mušič, Ken Ograjenšek, Nik Pem, David Rodman, Robert Sabolič, Rok Tičar, Jan Urbas (A), Miha Verlič.