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Saturday, December 22, 2018

CANADA ROUTS SLOVAKIA IN PRE-TOURNAMENT GAME

VICTORIA - Team Canada rebounded from a tentative outing against Switzerland on Wednesday with a dominant 6-1 victory over Slovakia in a world junior pre-tournament contest at Save-On-Food Memorial Centre on Friday.

Coach Tim Hunter said he was pleased with the composed effort of his team throughout the game, and he praised the calm performance of goaltender Ian Scott.

"It was good from start to finish,'' said Hunter. "Ian Scott played really well and real calm in net. When he had to make a stop he made a stop.''

Scott stopped 23 shots while Cody Glass led Canada's offence with a goal and two assists.

Scott, who plays for Prince Albert in the Western Hockey League, said he is a naturally calm person, a trait he credited to his mother Catherine.

Maxime Comtois, Jack Studnicka, Nick Suzuki, Ty Smith and Shane Bowers also scored for Team Canada, which notched its second consecutive exhibition victory ahead of the championship that starts Boxing Day. Canada downed Switzerland 5-3 on Wednesday.

Canada's final pre-tournament game is Sunday in Vancouver against Finland.

Patrik Hrehorcak ended Scott's shutout bid with Slovakia's lone goal in the third period.

Samuel Hlavaj made 39 saves in the loss.

Hunter said he has yet to decide who will start in goal Sunday, Scott or Michael DiPietro, who was in net against the Swiss.

DiPietro faced 17 shots Wednesday and said he started to feel comfortable in the third period.

Hunter said the two goalies may each play part of Sunday's game.

"They both have to get used to playing in Vancouver, in front of that crowd, the building, the boards,'' he said.

Glass, who also scored Wednesday, said the team played consistently and at high speed for the entirety of Friday's game.

"I felt we managed the puck a lot better than Wednesday,'' he said. "We were moving pucks quick and the defence did a great job of moving the puck up. It's going to be a lot of fun with this team.''

(Canadian Press)

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