The Hlinka Gretzky Cup commenced Monday, with four games on tap. This tournament provides scouts and fans alike, with an early glimpse of the 2020 NHL draft class. Day one action provided the following results:
Canada 6 Finland 0
Canada opened the Hlinka Gretzky Cup tournament with a convincing 6-0 victory over Finland. Cole Perfetti, with a powerplay marker, got the party started less than six minutes into the game. Hendrix Lapierre and Jamie Drysdale drew the assists on the goal. Will Cuylle picked the far corner from the left faceoff circle, after taking a pass from Ridly Greig to put Canada up by a pair. Seth Jarvis closed out the period with his first of two goals, after taking a spin-o-rama no-look drop pass from Quinton Byfield. 3-0 Canada after twenty minutes.
Greig, who was named Player of the Game for Canada, scored the only goal of the second period. Jean-Luc Foudy and Jeremie Poirier provided the helpers.
Team Canada managed to sustain pressure in the third period, which provided them with an additional two goals. Jarvis and Perfetti each knotted their second tallies of the game to close out the scoring. Tristan Lennox recorded the shutout. Canada will face Switzerland on day two of the Hlinka Gretzky Cup on Tuesday.
Russia 6 USA 2
The Americans jumped out to an early two-goal advantage before the Russians stormed back. Goaltending sensation, Yaroslav Askarov slammed the door shut the rest of the way, to earn the victory. Alexander Pashin scored twice in the second period, to help spark the comeback. Russia scored six unanswered goals en route to a 6-2 victory.
Czech Republic 4 Switzerland 3
Group A host, the Czech Republic needed a shootout to defeat Team Switzerland 4-3. Despite having a 32-19 shot advantage, it was the Czechs who required a late game-tying goal to force overtime. Defenseman Ondrej Balaz scored the equalizer at 18:30 of the third period. Michal Gut provided the shootout heroics scoring twice, including the winner in round seven. Gut recently signed with the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League.
Sweden 3 Slovakia 2
Axel Kumlin scored from long range through traffic 25 seconds into the game. The Swedes then added two powerplay tallies and held off a very determined Slovak squad to preserve the victory. Matej Kaslik added a goal and an assist for the Slovaks, but it wasn’t enough.