PENTICTON, B.C. – Evan Rodrigues scored once and added three assists and Jordan Ruby made 34 saves as Canada East rebounded from a disappointing opening-day loss to the U.S. to post a 6-2 victory over Sweden on Tuesday afternoon.
Scott Wilson finished with a goal and two assists for the Canadians (1-1), who converted four times on the power play, including twice in the game’s first nine minutes.
After Rodrigues helped set up Maxime Dumond and Tylor Spink for a quick two-goal advantage, he did the scoring himself to make it 3-0, dancing around the Swedish defence and sliding the puck past goaltender Jonas Gunnarsson on an unassisted effort.
The Canadians looked to be in cruise control after Robert Polesello made it 4-0 15:39 – on just the ninth shot for Canada East – but the Swedes (0-1) pushed back late in the period, getting goals 51 seconds apart from Christian Nyman and Pontus Netterberg to make it 4-2 after a wild first.
The offences took a breather in the second period, with Wilson’s power play marker at 10:25 the only goal of the middle frame, although the Swedes peppered Ruby with 13 shots in the period, compared to only seven for Canada East, and had a 27-17 advantage through 40 minutes.
Zach Hyman rounded out the scoring in the third period, again on the power play, as Canada East won the first-ever World Junior A Challenge meeting between the two teams – the easterners were the only team not to face Sweden in its debut one year ago in Summerside.
While Canada East will wait for the results of the final three preliminary round games to find out who and when it will play next, the Swedes finish round-robin play against the Americans on Wednesday afternoon (4 p.m. PT).
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)