IESTANY, Slovakia – Daniel Catenacci scored twice as Canada rallied to open the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka under-18 hockey tournament with a 6-3 win over Sweden on Monday.
After opening the scoring the Canadians fell behind 3-1 in the second period before storming back and scoring five straight goals to secure the victory. Canada doesn't have much time to enjoy the comeback as it resumes tournament action Tuesday against Switzerland.
“We had a good start, we scored the first goal early but I think we ran into some lessons-to-be-learned,” said Canadian team coach George Burnett. “We took seven stick penalties so we've got to tidy that up.
“Most of them were from being on the wrong side of the puck or trying to use your stick to check which doesn't work well in events like this, so they got some power-play goals. But we made some adjustments in the second period … and we got some good transition turnovers from some back pressure which was essential against a team that plays with the puck possession that these guys do and we turned some of those into goals.”
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Lucas Lessio, Brett Ritchie and Matt Puempel had the other goals for Canada. Tyson Teichmann stopped 37 shots in goal.
Sweden outshot Canada 15-8 in the first period en route to 2-1 lead. The Swedish goals came on the power play and while shorthanded.
The Canadians took control in the second, outshooting Sweden 22-14 and scoring three times for a 4-3 advantage heading into the third. There, Canada cemented the victory by outscoring the Swedes 2-0 and finishing the game outshooting them 43-40.
“We turned it over on their second goal, which I think got us on our heels a little bit and set us back a touch,” Burnett said. “Play settled down later in the first period and through the second we put the pressure on and he (Teichmann) didn't have a whole lot of work but had some big saves on a 5-on-3.
“There were also a number of power-play situations for them in the second that we were able to get through and he was a big part of that and settled down and gave us some big, quality saves as the game went on.”
Burnett said having another game to play so quickly is in fact a good thing for the Canadians.
“I think the kids would rather be playing than practicing right now,” he said. “The neat thing about this tournament is it happens so quickly and no team gets extra rest.
“Every team is playing three days straight. We're hoping to conserve the energy that we can so that probably means having to learn a little bit more watching some videotape.”
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)