Canada crushes Sweden to win Hlinka Gretzky Cup under-18 tournament

Russia defeated the U.S. 5-4 in the bronze-medal match

Sasha Mutala and Alexis Lafreniere each had a pair of goals as Canada defeated Sweden 6-2 in the final of the Hlinka Gretzky Cup under-18 tournament on Saturday night.

Kirby Dach and Josh Williams also scored for Canada, which has now won the tournament 10 of the last 11 years, and has captured gold 22 times in the 28 years the event has been held.

Lucas Raymond and Alexander Holtz replied with goals for Sweden, which also lost 4-3 to Canada in the round robin.

Canada, which was fortunate to be in the final after scoring a game-tying goal at the buzzer against the United States in the semis that likely would have been called off if video review was allowed, trailed early against the Swedes.

READ MORE: Whalley wins Canadian Little League title, now off to Williamsport

Sweden scored just 42 seconds into the first period on a power play as Raymond rifled a shot top corner past Canadian goalie Nolan Maier.

Sweden took a 2-0 lead with eight-and-a-half minutes remaining in the first as Holtz beat Maier on a breakaway, prompting Canada to make a goalie change, with Taylor Gauthier coming into the game.

The move seemed to give the Canadians some new life as they got on the board just 41 seconds later when Mutala tipped a puck past Swedish goaltender Hugo Alnefelt.

A couple minutes later, Canada knotted the game up as 2020 first overall draft-pick favourite Lafreniere stole a puck and sent it on net, where it was redirected in by Dach.

Canada took the lead with two minutes to play in the opening frame when Lafreniere dodged through the defence to score.

The home team took a two-goal lead with eight minutes left in the second as a Dylan Holloway shot went off Mutala’s cage and deflected in.

Canada went up 5-2 five minutes into the third when Williams scored on a give-and-go and added more insurance on a power-play goal by Lafreniere with six minutes left.

Russia defeated the U.S. 5-4 in the bronze-medal match.

It was the first year the tournament was hosted by Edmonton, which will have it every second year for the next four years, with the odd years taking place in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Shane Jones, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

UPDATE: Fire forces closures and delays on Highway 3 at Kootenay Pass

Motorists should detour using Kootenay Lake ferry

Evacuation alert issued for City of Kimberley

Three hours after an evacuation order was issued for the St. Mary Valley, an evacuation alert was issued for the nearby community of Kimberley.

Wartime Wednesdays

Invermere’s Elinor Florence investigates stories from our wartime past

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights can be misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Vancouver Whitecaps give up late goal in 2-2 draw with New York Red Bulls

Four of Vancouver’s next five games are at home

Most Read