Canadian hockey men turn on power play to edge Slovakia

ALMATY, Kazakhstan — A pair of power-play goals just over a minute apart sparked Canada to a 5-3 victory over Slovakia in men’s hockey play Friday at the Winter Universiade.

The teams were tied when Campbellville’s Spencer Abraham of Queen’s and Pierre-Olivier Morin of UQTR scored 61 seconds apart with less than six minutes to go in the second period to give the Canadians a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Canada scored the only goal of the first period and led 4-2 at the end of the second.

The Canadians went 4-for-10 on the power play in the chippy game while Slovakia went 2-for-11.

Morin scored twice for Canada while single goals were netted by Martin Lefebvre of UQTR, Slater Doggett of Queen’s and Abraham. Brett Welychka of Carleton assisted on two of the goals.

Guelph Gryphons captain Scott Simmonds and Arthur’s Brett Pedersen of Laurentian are linemates on the Canadian team. Simmonds won nine of the faceoffs he took in the game.

Kevin Bailie of Queen’s was the winning goaltender.

Canada outshot Slovakia 35-26.

The victory gives Canada a first-place finish in its pool with a 3-0-0-0 record. Slovakia was second at 2-1-0-0, U.S. third at 1-2-0-0 and Britain fourth at 0-3-0-0.

Canada advances to the quarter-finals where they’re to play Latvia (1-1-1-0) Saturday. Other quarter-finals have Russia (3-0-0-0) playing Japan (1-1-0-1) Saturday, Czech Republic (2-1-0-0) playing Slovakia Sunday and Kazakhstan (3-0-0-0) playing Sweden (1-2-0-0) Sunday.

Top two in each of the three pools advanced to the quarter-finals along with two wild-card teams — Japan and Sweden. Both Japan and Sweden played their quarter-final opponents in pool play. Russia defeated Japan 14-0 and Kazakhstan beat Sweden 5-0.

Teams that lose their quarter-final games are to play in classification games Monday and Tuesday to decide finishing positions five to eight.

Quarter-final winners advance to the semifinals that are set for Tuesday and the medal games are to go Wednesday.

  • Guelph Sports Journal