Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada Opens Under-18 Men's Hockey Tournament with 3-1 Win over Sweden

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada Opens Under-18 Men's Hockey Tournament with 3-1 Win over Sweden

Article excerpt

Canada opens U18 tournament with win

--

IMATRA, Finland - Canada overcame a stiff challenge from a skilled and physical Sweden team in its first game at the under-18 men's hockey championship Thursday.

Jake Virtanen scored twice as Canada opened its defence of the U18 title with a disciplined 3-1 win over the Swedes.

"Not only are they skilled, boy do they play hard," Canada coach Kevin Dineen said of Sweden. "They really made an effort tonight to make a statement that not only were they not going to get pushed around, they were going to set the physical tone.

"I appreciated and respected the discipline our players showed, because boy did they ever come hard at us."

Virtanen opened the scoring at 6:45 of the first period, then gave Canada a two-goal lead with a power-play goal 1:03 into the second.

Sweden cut the lead in half when Daniel Muzito Bagenda scored a power-play goal at 10:57 of the second.

Canada didn't let Sweden score the tying goal, and Matt Barzal -- one of six new players on Canada's team this year -- restored Canada's two-goal cushion with a goal 3:07 into the third period. …

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