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

Jessa Pellerin presents ‘Heart Key’ exhibit at The Hub

Exhibit showcases custom signs ‘made with love’

On the heels of a Christmas release, singer Jess Moskaluke heads to City Jan. 29th

Moskaluke is on the road with Paul Brandt, High Valley and the Hunter Brothers

‘LETTERKENNY Live, the Encore’ lands at the Enmax Centrium Dec. 15th

Earlier this year, the original tour took over venues across the country

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Alberta Finance Minister says equalization program not working

Equalization formula fails Alberta again, says UCP

Omar Khadr to ask for Canadian passport to travel, permission to speak to sister

He spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught when he was 15

Most Read