It is hard to imagine a better start for Canada as they faced Finland at the Bell Centre on Monday night.
After 1:39, they had a 2-0 lead over the defending gold medal winners en route to a 5-0 win.
Tyson Jost opened the scoring just 11 seconds into the game when he potted a Julien Gauthier rebound past Veini Vehviläinen to give Canada the dream start.
They would double their lead 1:28 later when Taylor Raddysh started what seemed to be an innocent break, but poor defending angles by the Finnish defence allowed him to break in all alone and he put a great move on the Finnish netminder.
Canada would score two more goals before the final buzzer sounded in the first period. Matthew Barzal took the puck behind the net and walked out in front untouched to put a backhand five-hole on Vehviläinen.
Nicolas Roy won a face-off to Gauthier who tipped it to Jost, who fired a wrist shot over Vehviläinen’s glove for his second goal of the game.
Jost's second goal of the game. 4-0 Canada. pic.twitter.com/xCTxiQ87DA— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) December 20, 2016
Jost was held out of Canada’s 8-0 over the Czech Republic last Wednesday after taking a shot off the foot the night before. This was Canada’s first game with the 22 players who made the team.
The second period was scoreless and Finland responded well, outshooting the Canadians after their dismal start. Among players still at camp, Finland has the third youngest roster ahead of just Denmark and Switzerland. They still have six cuts to make. Due to eligibility and players in the NHL, only five players are in camp from their Gold Medal winning team from a year ago.
Canada scored their final goal in the third period when Raddysh banked a puck in off of a Finnish defender.
Carter Hart was once again perfect in the Canadian net. Hart has played 120 minutes over three games with Canada since camp started and has not allowed a goal. He wasn’t tested much, although Finland had seven power plays.
Hart provides a calm presence in the net, and his best save was probably in the third period, when he went across his crease to stop a Finland chance.
Carter Hart calls his save. Not bad. Canada wins 5-0. pic.twitter.com/1HxRQghGl9— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) December 20, 2016
He also had another big save in the second period, sticking out his right pad.
Jéremy Lauzon also made his appearance felt, connecting on a few big hits throughout the night.
Bruins draft pick Jeremy Lauzon takes out Aaro Vidgren pic.twitter.com/aRid0uraJ3— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) December 20, 2016
Montreal Canadiens prospect Noah Juulsen looked solid on Canada’s second pair and played a lot on the penalty kill. I wouldn’t be surprised to see his role increase as we get farther in the tournament.
Canada continues their pre-tournament action against the Czech Republic in Ottawa on Wednesday at the Canadian Tire Centre.
The tournament gets underway on Boxing Day when they start the tournament against Mikhail Sergachev and Russia.