BY ALEX LUPUL
Team Canada earned a decisive 5-2 victory against Denmark on Dec. 15.
Team Canada’s coaching staff had much to think about during the final day of their World Junior selection camp, as their roster begins to take shape.
For players, a sense of uncertainty loomed over the team’s 27 remaining players, with five more cuts required for a tournament ready 22-man roster.
Fans in attendance at St. Catharines’ Meridian Centre were excited to catch a pre-tournament matchup between Canada and Denmark, a precursor to the teams’ official tournament meeting on Dec. 30.
Canada was first to get on the board with a goal 6:05 into the first period, from forward Boris Katchouk, picking up the rebound and firing it past goaltender Mads Søgaard.
While Denmark was outshot 11-4 in the first period, the team was able to capitalize on their limited chances. Less than five minutes after Canada’s opening goal, Joachim Blichfeld’s shot found its way past goaltender Colton Point, tying the game up at 1-1.
Canada returned from the break between periods with a renewed sense of purpose for the following two periods, maintaining a high level of offensive pressure with 41 shots on goal to Denmark’s 10.
Canada’s Brett Howden scored the go-ahead goal 7:50 into the second, with a shot that deflected off of the Danish defence and into the back of the net.
Canada’s offensive output didn’t stop there, with Alex Formenton scoring what would become the game winner late in the second period.
An early Denmark goal 33-seconds into the third period made it a 3-2 game, but two Canadian goals scored by Tyler Steenbergen and Jordan Kyrou put the game out of reach.
Following the game, Team Canada announced that forwards Tanner Kaspick, and Nick Suzuki; defencemen Josh Mahura and Mario Ferraro; and goaltender Michael DiPietro did not make the team’s final cut.
Team Canada has one pre-tournament game remaining against Switzerland, which will be played on Dec. 22 in Hamilton, before the World Junior Championship begins on Dec. 26.