Twenty-two goals in two games feels like Christmas after watching the Chicago Blackhawks.
Canada 11, Austria 0
Yup, they did it again.
After a slow (albeit by elite-level Canadian standards) start riddled with turnovers, Canada continued its 11-goal win streak against Austria on Thursday night. In the past 27 hours, Canada has scored 22 goals — 10 of which were on power plays. Talk of the town may be Connor Bedard’s 6-point night (the freak has 8 goals and 6 assists so far this tournament), but the Blackhawks prospects also had a strong game. Scoring opened 14 minutes into the first period, and by the first intermission, Canada was already up 3-0. After the second, it was 7-0 (including a goal from Blackhawks prospect Nolan Allan), and at the final buzzer the score was 11-0. To quote Austria’s (Canadian!) coach Kirk Furey, “They’re just a very skilled team.”
If you’re in the mood to see some pretty plays, check out how the Blackhawks prospects fared below:
D Nolan Allan, Canada
Stats: 1 G, 0 A, 2 SOG in 16:40 of ice time
To start off on a positive note, defenseman Nolan Allan scored his first goal of the tournament by shuffling along the blue line with the puck until space opened up, then sinking a shot from the top of the faceoff circle into the net. He celebrated with his Blackhawks teammates Dach and Korchinski, who were also on the ice when it happened. Overall, he had a strong game, playing against an aggressive forecheck and keeping very active on the blue line.
Nolan Allan (CHI) sends a seeing eye shot through a sea of bodies for his first goal of the tournament. Canada now leads 6-0 in the second.— EP Rinkside (@EPRinkside) December 30, 2022
Reid Schaefer (#LetsGoOilers) and Zack Ostapchuk (#GoSensGo) the assists on the play.
: @TSN_Sports pic.twitter.com/gz5zwJFoVI
F Colton Dach, Canada
Stats: 0 G, 1 A, 1 SOG in 11:44 of ice time
Dach grabbed one assist against the Austrians by spinning to receive a pass from the point and carrying it down deep to the goal line before backhanding it to Nathan Gaucher, who was sitting in the crease. He was on-ice for a few more of Team Canada’s goals and, though he did not receive an assist, his ice time has improved overall since the beginning of the tournament when he only played eight minutes. Dach proved himself an asset in this game as well via his quick skating and his ability to carry pucks in deep, and you can tell he’s becoming more confident on the ice.
Nathan Gaucher (#FlyTogether) goes to the net and buries his first of the tournament to give Canada a 9-0 lead— EP Rinkside (@EPRinkside) December 30, 2022
Colton Dach (CHI) and Jack Matier (#Smashville) the assists on the play.
: @TSN_Sports pic.twitter.com/nZhPUKxIGq
D Ethan del Mastro, Canada
Stats: 0 G, 1 A, 1 SOG in 19:18 of ice time
Del Mastro also grabbed a point against the Austrians after getting the puck to Connor Bedard, who passed it over to Logan Stankoven who shoveled it into the top right corner of the net. Del Mastro has been ‘Ol Reliable on the blue line this tournament, and this game was no exception— he led the team in time on ice, and showed up pretty consistently on the 5-on-5. It was good to see that del Mastro and his D-partner, Olen Zellweger, had a pre-shift talk with the Bedard line in the beginning of the first period as they (presumably) discussed how to change the pace of the game. A few minutes after that, Canada scored their first goal on the power play. We can’t know what they discussed, but it’s interesting to watch del Mastro step up into his leadership position.
They missed it during play, but after a lengthy review, Logan Stankoven's (#TexasHockey) goal is confirmed, giving Canada a 7-0 lead— EP Rinkside (@EPRinkside) December 30, 2022
Connor Bedard (@WHLPats) and Ethan Del Mastro (CHI) the assists on the play.
: @TSN_Sports pic.twitter.com/ui4EkKGcAo
D Kevin Korchinski, Canada
Stats: 0 G, 0 A, 2 SOG in 15:42 of ice time
Korchinski may have been the only Blackhawks prospect not to get a point this game, but he was on the ice for a few of the Canadian goals and had a couple good chances of his own in the second period. He had a scary moment in the first period when he sent a pass across his crease that was picked off by an Austrian player, but the Canadians crushed the counterattack and he was saved from blame. Korchinski is a defenseman who is comfortable stepping up and playing more offensively, and his lack of production this game was not from lack of trying — he really was a persistent force on the puck this game and commonly ruined Austrian counterattacks with a quick poke check.
Sweden 3, Czechia 2 (OT)
Czech this out!
The matchup between Sweden and Czechia wasn’t nearly as goal-heavy as Canada vs. Austria, but at least we got some good overtime action. The first period was relatively boring (no offense) with no penalties and only one scoring chance, but things heated up in the second period after an early Czech goal. Sweden responded with a goal of their own two minutes later, and 90 seconds after their first tally they threw another in the net to get the advantage. The Czechs tied the score late in the third to push the game into OT, but the Swedes ended up winning with 3 minutes left in overtime.
F Victor Stjernborg, Sweden
Stats: 0 G, 0 A, 0 SOG in 14:02 of ice time
Captain Stjernborg was quiet this game, which seems to be a trend for him this tournament: he only has 1 assist and 2 shots on goal during his total 41:11 of ice time. Good forwards don’t necessarily always have to produce, and it seems that Stjernborg is taking this approach, yet his strong skating and puck-keeping abilities have maintained his presence on the ice. He appears to be a level-headed player, and it will be interesting to see how he deals with the Canadians on Saturday, who are fresh off two high-scoring electric games.
Ring in the new year by watching Canada take on Sweden for a bit of Blackhawks-on-Blackhawks action this Saturday, Dec. 31, at 5:30 p.m.