TORONTO, Ont. – It was a spirited affair Saturday afternoon between Canada's National Junior Team hopefuls and the CIS Toronto Selects at the MasterCard Centre, with the juniors coming out with a 3-0 victory as part of Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp.
Connor McDavid (Newmarket, Ont./Erie, OHL), Josh Anderson (Burlington, Ont./London, OHL) and Charles Hudon (Boisbriand, Que./Chicoutimi, QMJHL) had the goals, while Zachary Fucale (Rosemère, Que./Halifax, QMJHL) and Jake Paterson (Mississauga, Ont./Saginaw, OHL) combined for the 20-save shutout.
“Tonight, I didn't have much work to do but in the end, whatever I did have to do, I did it well,” said Fucale.
Despite out shooting the CIS side 19-3 in the first period and having numerous power play opportunities, including a two-minute five-on-three, Canada failed to capitalize. The closest it came to scoring was early in the frame, when play whistled dead just prior to the puck crossing the line.
Behind the excellent play of CIS goaltender Garrett Sheehan, the teams headed to the dressing room scoreless after 20 minutes.
The Canadians finally opened the scoring 13 minutes into the second period on yet another power play; 16-year-old McDavid capitalized on the man advantage for a 1-0 lead.
Despite a massive 21-11 advantage in shots on goals in the second period, and 40-14 through 40 minutes, it was just a 1-0 Canadian lead after two.
McDavid, who was paired on Canada’s second line with Hunter Shinkaruk (Calgary, Alta./Medicine Hat, WHL) and Sam Reinhart (West Vancouver, B.C./Kootenay, WHL) “felt the team played very well for our first game together. We didn't give up a goal.”
Anderson made it a 2-0 game just 15 seconds into the third period, finishing off a pretty set-up from Kerby Rychel (Tecumseh, Ont./Guelph, OHL) and Frédérik Gauthier (Mascouche, Que./Rimouski, QMJHL), and Hudon sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with 58 seconds left.
The Canadians dominated the shots on goal, 56-20 overall.
Head coach Brent Sutter was pleased with his team’s effort and is confident going forward.
“They're all great kids and they're all very smart players,” Sutter said. “I know these guys can score goals. It's just about coming together as a team and accepting roles.”
All 25 players will travel to Europe on Sunday, with the Canadians opening their pre-tournament schedule Dec. 20 against Finland.
Three players will have to be released before Canada begins the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship on Boxing Day against Germany.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)