The 1-0 Team Denmark took on 0-1 Canada and while the wins and losses coming into the game were surprising, the results coming out of it were predictable.
The first period was all Canada, as one might expect. However, Denmark gave a much better account of themselves than anticipated. Danish goalie Mathias Seldrup was called upon to to make some huge saves, but the biggest save of the period may have come from Alexander True, who kept Lawson Crouse's shot from crossing the line. The play was called no goal on the ice, and action continued for a good minute or so before a stoppage in play allowed for review. The call on the ice was upheld, and Canada continued their domination.
Although Denmark had only about three forays into the offensive zone, Holmberg forced Mason McDonald to make a big save before True put the puck in the back of the net off his skate. Review determined that there was no kicking motion, and Denmark had a brief but momentous lead.
Anthony Beauvillier scored barely a minute later into a wide open net, but Denmark managed to hang on to end the period. Despite the 1-1 score, the period was all Canada, as indicated by the shots: 19-4.
A little over one minute into the second period, Mitchell Marner blasted a shot on net that went off Søren Nielsen, and John Quenneville and in, and from there the floodgates opened. Mathias From took Denmark's first penalty of the tournament, and Mathew Barzal roofed a beautiful top shelf shot past Seldrup.
Less than a minute later, Travis Konecny put a beautiful, cross-crease pass onto Crouse's stick, and he got his goal back, making it 4-1 Canada. Just before the ten minute mark, Jonas Røndbjerg flipped the puck over the glass, and though Denmark has a surprisingly good penalty kill, Mitch Marner scored just after the penalty expired.
Thomas Chabot took a slashing penalty with seven minutes left in the period, but Canada almost went up 6-1 as Seldrup turned the puck over behind the net to Chartier. Although he was clearly exhausted, Seldrup managed to dive back and make the save.
The third period was more of the same, From took a delay of game penalty for closing his hand on the puck, but Denmark pulled through, despite a barrage of chances for Canada, largely on the play off their goalie. 8:20 in, Thomas Olsen and Travis Dermott got tangled up behind the play, and Dermott drew a roughing call to give Canada their fourth powerplay. Seldrup made a beautiful point blank save against Brendan Perlini, but Dylan Strome put a beautiful shot in over Seldrup's shoulder to make it 6-1. Less than ten minutes in, shots were already 10-0 for Canada, and they never let up.
True took a delay of game penalty about twelve minutes in, but the Danish penalty kill held on, and the powerplay was negated as Marner and Emil Christensen collided. Marner was sent off interference, however Denmark was never able to set up properly, and Crouse almost had a shorthanded goal.
Though Canada continued to dominate the rest of the game, firing an additional eight shots at the net, Seldrup held the fort, including absolute highway robbery against Barzal. Canada would end the game with 58 shots, their domination of Denmark complete.
Barzal was named player of the game, for an outstanding performance on a team full of outstanding performers, and Seldrup got the nod for Denmark for saving 52 of the 58 shots he saw. Despite the loss, Seldrup said of the game, "It was the most fun game I've ever played", and had a huge smile on his face when he received his award.
Canada faces Switzerland tomorrow, while Denmark will play Sweden on Wednesday.
- In addition to a standout performance from Barzal, Crouse, Strome and Marner also had very strong games. Though he was less noticeable throughout, Jake Virtanen also looked good. With the return of Blackwood tomorrow, Canada is in a very good position for the rest of the tournament.
- This game was exactly the bounce back game Canada was hoping for. Although Denmark is a much weaker team than the USA, Canada's 60 shots on net definitely qualify as getting more shots on net. Something everyone emphasized heavily before hand.
- For a team without players like Ehlers and Bjørkstrand, the fact that Denmark has been able to replicate last year's success, and improve from an 8-0 loss to a 6-1 loss is promising for the future.