PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. – Canada’s teams from the East battled for early Group A points on Wednesday, with Quebec securing a 9-3 victory. Although this game pitted teammates against each other, there was no love lost as both teams played tough and physical for all three periods.
“We’re all so close, we play against each other all year, so there’s some rivalry brought over,” said Andrew Ryan, Atlantic’s player of the game, who finished with a goal and an assist.
Atlantic came out with a strong start, ending the first period up 2-1 thanks to Ryan and Matthew Bursey, but was overcome by the Quebec in the second period.
After killing a 5-on-3 early in the period, Quebec opened up the offence, scoring five times, capped off with a beautiful Félix-Girard-to-Julien-Leduc goal.
Quebec continued their control into the third period, as Atlantic quickly picked up two penalties. Raphael Lafontaine made it 7-2 at 1:17 on a 5-on-3 before Michael Matheson went five-hole from the point 20 seconds later at 5-on-4.
Lafontaine notched his second power play goal of the period, and Quebec’s fifth of the game just past the midway point of the final frame for the eighth unanswered goal, a run ended by Nathan MacKinnon’s man-advantage marker at 16:01.
Quebec returns to the PCU centre ice Thursday when it takes on Finland, while Atlantic sees the ice next Friday when it faces the Finns in Portage.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)