The Canadians weren’t going to be denied.
After losing their first game of the tournament against rival team USA, the Canadians had to be – and were – noticeably better against Denmark. Quite literally, from the drop of the puck on the opening faceoff the Canadians were threatening to score, pinning the Danes in their zone for long stretches from the outset and nearly scoring a goal in the first 30 seconds.
A mad scramble saw Canadian forward Lawson Crouse – lying flat on his stomach, no less – attempt to will the puck into the back of a vacant net during a mad scramble. Though he would atone for the missed opportunity later on, Crouse and his teammates were stymied in what was a period largely dominated by Danish netminder Mathias Seldrup.
The Canadians fired 19 shots Seldrup’s way, only to have 18 of them turned away. But their spirits weren’t dampened in the slightest as they continued to pressure the Danes, finally breaking through on an Anthony Beauvillier goal just 63 seconds after Alexander True shocked those in attendance by getting the Danes on the board with the game’s first goal.
In stark contrast to the opening frame, Canada’s skill (aided by some luck) shone through in the second period. John Quenneville started the offensive barrage early on, scoring the flukiest of goals that would serve as an omen for the remainder of the period: a shot that pinballed off multiple Danes before finding the back of the net just 1:14 into the period.
Following Quenneville’s marker were goals by the aforementioned Crouse, Mathew Barzal and Mitch Marner – the latter two of whom finished with multi-point games. Heading into the second intermission the Canadians held a sizeable 5-1 lead on the scoreboard and an even greater 40-11 advantage on the shot clock.
Adding to the list of Canadians who finished with multi-point games were Dylan Strome and Brayden Point, the latter assisting on the former’s powerplay goal mid-way through the third period. So dominant were the Canadians in the final period that, despite scoring just the one goal on 18 shots, they prevented the Danes from recording any shots of their own.
But the story of the game, aside from Canada’s offensive explosion, was the play of Seldrup in the Danish goal. The 18 shots he faced in the third period were the least of any period, yet he never wavered. By the time the final horn sounded he had faced 58 shots, stopping 52 of them to earn player of the game honours for his team.
Canada’s win, meanwhile, puts it in a theoretical tie for second place with Denmark and the United States who each have three points through two games. Canada’s next test comes Dec. 29 (1:00 ET) against a reeling team Switzerland that has lost each of its first two games and is in need of a miracle to avoid playing in the relegation round.