Breclav, Czech Rep. – Quinton Byfield (Sudbury Wolves) banged in a pair of power play goals while Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit) and Jean-Luc Foudy (Windsor Spitfires) also tallied as Canada improved to 3-0 with a 7-1 win over the host Czech Republic on Wednesday.
Canada killed off three penalties in the opening frame while Perfetti and Byfield got them on the board. Byfield added his second of the game in the second period before Connor McClennon (Winnipeg ICE) increased the lead to 4-0 with 5:11 left in the frame.
Michal Gut (Everett Silvertips) ended Tristan Lennox‘s run of shutout hockey at 101:07 early in the third period before Hendrix Lapierre (Chicoutimi Sagueneens), Ridly Greig (Brandon Wheat Kings) and Foudy rounded out Canada’s scoring.
Foudy finished the contest with a goal and an assist while Windsor Spitfires teammate Will Cuylle had two helpers and Erie Otters defenceman Jamie Drysdale picked up one of his own.
Lennox turned aside 20 of the 21 shots he faced as Canada outshot the Czechs 42-21, going 2-for-5 on the power play while holding their opponent to 0-for-8 on the man advantage.
“Playing against the Czechs at home was a lot of fun and there was a lot of energy in the building, but we did a good job of battling through it,” said Canada head coach Michael Dyck. “Now we have to move on, and we look forward to getting prepared to face off against Sweden. We will use tomorrow as a springboard into Friday, but we are really excited about the opportunity to play in the semifinals and go up against a strong opponent like Sweden.”
Through three round robin contests, Perfetti sits one point back of the tournament scoring lead with seven points (5-2–7) and an event-leading five goals.
The win caps off a dominant preliminary round from Canada as they outscored opponents 21-1, setting up a semi-final matchup with Sweden on Friday at 1:00pm ET.
Wednesday’s other Hlinka Gretzky Cup scores:
Finland 6, Switzerland 0 – FIN: Suni (OSH) 1A / Rafkin (WSR) 1A
Sweden 5, United States 4 (SO)
Russia 2, Slovakia 1 (OT)
For full coverage of the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup visit hlinkagretzkycup.cz.