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Photo Credit: TSN

Canada Postgame: Cal Foote’s Hand(e)

In their opening game of the 2018 World Juniors, Team Canada claimed a 4-2 win over Team Finland, walking away with their first victory of the preliminary round of the tournament.

In typical WJC fashion, the win today was exciting and the game was full of action.  The Canadians have a very strong and deep team this year, and that was especially clear against Finland.

The Finns are said to be one of the best teams the tournament has to offer this year, and they did a good job of keeping up with the Canadians.  Finland never pulled away at any point in the game, though, and the team will need to work on their scoring abilities if they are able to live up to the hype surrounding them this year.

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First Period

As an opening note, here is the Canadian lineup from today:

Today’s lineup worked out well for the Canadians, and I wouldn’t expect much, if any, change moving forward.

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The game’s first goal was… scrappy, to say the least.  An iffy goal by Boris Katchouk opened the scoring with a deflection (?) in what probably should have been a called-off goal:

Just 27 seconds later, Canada’s Sam Steel would find the open net on the power play, putting the Canadians up 2-0 early in the first.  Finland retaliated soon after as Aleksi Heponiemi tapped the puck into the open net, leaving Canadian goaltender Carter Hart with no chance:

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Canada would head into the first intermission with a 3-1 lead, with another goal added later by Drake Batherson at 12:52 in the period.

Second Period

Finland would strike first in the second, slowly inching closer to claiming the lead from Canada:

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Midway through the period, Taylor Raddysh would score off an absolutely beautiful shot, securing the victory for his team with just under 30 minutes to play in the game:

Third Period

Okay, this one was pretty insane.  Canada’s Cal Foote practically saved the game for his team on this quick defensive play on the Canadian goal line:

The puck never crossed the line, and Canada finished the game with a 4-2 victory over the Finns.

Victor Mete was named Canada’s player of the game, and deservingly so.  Mete tallied one assist on the match and anchored the Canadian blueline, contributing in a way that didn’t show on the scoresheet.

One minor hiccup, though: Canada took six minor penalties in total today, going 1/6 on the PK.  Six minor penalties isn’t an impressive feat, and the Canadians will have to be a bit more disciplined moving forward in the tournament.

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The Canadians are back in action tomorrow against Slovakia, this time playing at 7:00 pm at the KeyBank Centre in Buffalo.


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