PIESTANY, Slovakia – Spencer Watson (London, Ont./Kingston, OHL) scored twice to lead the offence as Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team scored a 3-1 pre-tournament win over Slovakia on Saturday.
The game was Canada’s lone exhibition contest before it opens its quest for a sixth consecutive gold medal at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament on Monday against the Czech Republic (1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT).
Michael Dal Colle (Vaughan, Ont./Oshawa, OHL) had the other goal for Canada, which dominated in the offensive end, outshooting Slovakia 50-17. Dal Colle also added an assist, joining Watson as Canadians with multiple-point games.
Canada jumped out to an early two-goal lead, as goals from Watson and Dal Colle, on the power play, made it 2-0 just 13:20 in.
But Slovakian netminder Vladimir Slivka would shine after that; Slivka stopped 12 shots in the first period, all 17 he faced in the second, and 18 of 19 in the third, keeping the Canadians off the scoreboard until Watson’s insurance marker six minutes into the final frame.
Julio Billia (St-Léonard, Que./Chicoutimi, QMJHL) got the start in the Canadian net, allowing only Ladislav Romancik’s five-on-three goal early in the second period, before giving way to Mason McDonald (Halifax, N.S./Acadie-Bathurst, QMJHL) midway through the second.
Billia stopped of the nine shots he faced, while McDonald was a perfect eight-for-eight.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)
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