Connor McDavid hat trick leads Canada over Sweden at U-18 hockey worlds
Canada clinches 1st in its division
Connor McDavid scored three power-play goals and Canada clinched first place in its group with a 6-0 rout of Sweden on Tuesday at the world under-18 hockey championship in Sochi, Russia.
McDavid opened the scoring 1:17 into the game, and sealed the victory with a pair of goals in the third period.
The 16-year-old Erie Otters forward, who added an assist, has 11 points in four games at the tournament.
Zach Nastasiuk, Morgan Klimchuk and Nick Ritchie scored in the second period as Canada pulled away from the Swedes.
Philippe Desrosiers made 28 saves for the shutout.
Despite the lopsided score, Canadian assistant coach Jody Hull said he didn't feel his team was in control until late in the second period. Canada took three straight minor penalties after McDavid's game-opening goal, allowing Sweden to build momentum.
"We had some real good momentum early before we ran into penalty problems," Hull said. "We got back and started doing what we need to do to win games."
Canada finished first in Group B with a 4-0 record, outscoring its opponents 23-3. The Canadians will play the Czech Republic, which finished fourth in Group A, in Thursday's quarter-finals.
Sweden will face the United States on Thursday. The Americans who finished third in Group A, are looking for a fifth straight gold medal at the event.
Hull said while Canada would love a crack at the Americans, his team is prepared to face any opponent in the medal round.
"The Canada-U.S. rivalry is at a high in both men's and women's game right now," Hull said. "If we get to the final and we play the Americans, great. If it's another team, we'll be prepared for them."