Canada busts out late to down Germany at U-18 hockey worlds
A strong third period left Canada still unbeaten at the world under-18 hockey championship.
Ryan Gropp, Travis Konecny and Jared McCann scored third-period goals to lead Canada to a 5-2 win over Germany on Saturday.
Gropp broke a 2-2 tie at 14:24 of the third before Konecny put the defending champions ahead 4-2 at 16:18. McCann rounded out the scoring with 35 seconds remaining to play as Canada outshot Germany 20-5 in the final frame.
"It was certainly a strong third period for us, it was nice to finish that way and come out with the win," said Canadian team coach Kevin Dineen. "I'm going to take a little bit of responsibility for our first couple of periods because I don't think I prepared our team properly for a very stiff game against Germany.
"I thought they played extremely well and I thought it took us a long time to realize we were in for a tough hockey game . . . it was an extremely even game until the end."
Daniel Audette and Conner Bleackley also scored for Canada (2-0), which opened the tournament with a 3-1 victory over Sweden on Thursday. And Dineen, who guided Canada's women's team to Olympic gold in Sochi, Russia, felt that strong start may've contributed to his team's play through two periods against Germany.
"We played extremely well and extremely hard against Sweden to start the tournament," Dineen said. "I think we all had it in the back of our heads that Germany was going to be a little bit of an easy game . . . and it almost took us 40 minutes to get our straps going."
Julio Billia stopped 21 shots for Canada, which outshot Germany 42-23 overall.
Dineen and his players don't have much time to relish their latest win. Canada faces Slovakia on Sunday.
"That's really tournament hockey, you have to understand that things come fast and furious here," Dineen said. "You look at some things in the rear-view mirror and take some quick lessons. We'll have a much better challenge [versus Slovakia].
"I thought [against Germany] we were extremely spread out, we were all over the ice and trying to make special plays instead of having support, whether it be on offence or defence. I think there's good lessons for us to learn."