Sunday, December 29, 2013

Canada Loses 5-4 in Shoot Out

Nic Petan, Taylor Leier and Derrick Pouliot all had up and down games, resembling Canada's overall inconsistency in a surprising 5-4 shoot out loss to the Czech Republic in their second game of the U-20 World Junior Championships in Sweden.

Taylor Leier did not get a regular shift for Canada, but did get 4 on 4 time and was one of their top penalty killers. This was due to Leier's dreadful performance in the first game vs. Germany. He took 2 ill advised penalties that put Canada in bad spots. He was a little better in this one, though CR's 4th goal deflected off of his tick and past Jake Paterson. Paterson was pretty bad, giving up 4 goals on 28 shots and then allowing 2 of 4 shooters to prevail in the shoot out.

Nic Petan had some fantastic plays of his own, twice setting up teammates with empty nets to shoot at, only to see them fail to score. He was Canada's second shooter in the circus, but the puck hit a bad spot on the ice for him, causing him to have to force a quick shot that Medicine Hat Tiger's Goalie Marek Langhammer turned aside.

Derrick Poiliot constantly had to cover for his defensive partner 17 year old Aaron Ekblad. Once, Ekblad even poked the puck off of Pouliot's stick setting up one of the Cezch Republic's goals. The pairing was out there for 3 of the 4 goals Canada gave up. My thought is that there will be one more game for Ekblad and then Griffin Reinhart will take his spot on the top pairing with Pouliot after his suspension expires.

Matt Dumba was one of Canada's better D-men, consistently rubbing out the other team's forwards and even created a few chances on the other end.

One of the more interesting moments came at the end of second period when 16 year Canadian Conner McDavid shot after the buzzer and Tri Cities Michal Plutnar took exception. On his way to confront McDavid he knocked over one of the referees. He was only given 2 minutes as the contact was ruled incidental.

Next up for Canada is Monday's tilt vs. Slovakia that all of a sudden is a must win. The games goes 8:30 am PST.

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