Canada’s ice hockey players won the opening game of the World Championship in Group B in Riga over the home country of Latvia convincingly 6:0. The defending silver medalists, the Canadians, were already leading 2-0 in the fifth minute.
Defenseman MacKenzie Weegar had three points for a goal and two steals. Samuel Montembeault caught the zero, he needed 23 successful saves.
He froze the excited audience after 52 seconds of the opening goal by Crouse, when he shot Punnenovs between the concretes with a shot from the circle. Laughton added in the fifth minute when he deflected Weegar’s shot from the blue line with a nice run. Punnenovs caught up at that moment for today, he was replaced by Šilovs.
This was soon checked by Glas, but to no avail. On the other side, Indrasis threatened. Toffili rang the bell on the goal structure and Abols on the other side. McBain missed a great chance.
At the beginning of the second act, Daugavinš could have cut down, but he did not succeed. Moments later, the home goalkeeper Šilovs pulled away when he thwarted Middleton’s opportunity.
In the 27th minute, Džerinš was penalized for a foul and entered the game prematurely – Weegar was at the end of the successful interplay of the overseas selection. In the 36th minute, Blais tried his luck from the corner of the rink and Šilovs knocked his attempt behind his back.
In the 44th minute, Džerinš rang the crossbar after a pass from Rihards Bukarts. From the Canadian side, the talented Fantilli, the expected second pick of this year’s NHL draft behind Connor Bedard, threatened. The Latvians’ next chances were burned by Batna and Jaks. Veleno added the Canadians’ fifth goal in the 54th minute.
Moments later, Šilovs caught Carcone perfectly, but McBain completed the scoring and the Latvian debacle with the sixth goal.
Ice Hockey World Championship – Group B (Riga):
Latvia – Canada 0:6 (0:2, 0:2, 0:2)
Goals and assists: 1. Crouse (Glass, Krebs), 5. Laughton (Weegar, Middleton), 29. Weegar (Quinn, Toffoli), 36. Blais (Krebs, Hunt), 54. Veleno (Weegar), 56. McBain (Carcone, Fantilli). Referees: Hribik (Czech Republic), Heikkinen (Fin.) – Hofer (German), Yletyinen (Swed.). Exclusion: 4:2. Usage: 0:1. Viewers: 9260.
Latvian: Punnenovs (5th Shilov) – Balinskis, Zile, Mamčić, Jaks, Chukste, Freiberg, Cibulskis – Daugavinš, Abol, Anderson – Roberts Bukarts, Indrašis, Batna – Balcers, Lochmelis, Keninš – Rihards Bukarts, Jerinš, Dzierkals – od 41. in addition Smirnovs. Coach: Vitolinš.
Kanada: Montembeault – Weegar, Middleton, Barron, Bear, Joseph, Myers, Hunt – Blais, Veleno, Lucic – Carcone, McBain, Fantilli – Quinn, Laughton, Toffoli – Crouse, Glass, Krebs – Neighbours. Trenér: Tourigny.
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