U18 Worlds Recap: Canada 5, Belarus 2

Two goals apiece from Shane Wright and Mason McTavish gave Canada a perfect preliminary round and top spot in Group A


GAME STATS: CANADA 5, BELARUS 2

PLANO, Texas – Shane Wright (Burlington, Ont./Kingston, OHL) and Mason
McTavish (Carp, Ont./Peterborough, OHL) recorded a pair of goals each as
Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team completed its run through the
preliminary round Saturday at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship with a
5-2 win over Belarus.

The first-place finish in Group A means Canada will face the Czech Republic
in the quarterfinals on Monday afternoon (4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT) in Frisco.

Wright and McTavish sit tied for the team lead in goals with five, despite
Wright missing the last two games due to precautionary reasons not related
to COVID-19.

Corson Ceulemans (Beaumont, Alta./Brooks, AJHL) tallied two assists and
Olen Zellweger (Fort Saskatchewan, Alta./Everett, WHL) continued a stretch
of strong play on the blueline by posting a goal and an assist following a
three-helper performance against Switzerland on Friday.

Benjamin Gaudreau (Corbeil, Ont./Sarnia, OHL) was terrific once again in
net for Canada, making a number of timely stops as part of a 26-save
effort.

Canada breathed a sigh of relief in the opening five minutes when Belarus
defenceman Nikita Parfenyuk struck the post after Gaudreau had to adjust to
get a glove on the point shot.

Wright picked the pocket of Danila Klimovich at the blueline less than a
minute later, wiring a shot past netminder Yan Shostak to open the scoring
and announce his return.

Another crucial Gaudreau save, this time stopping Klimovich on an
uncontested breakaway, led to Zellweger doubling Canada’s advantage when he
was given space to walk in and bury a shot under the right pad of Shostak
1:26 before the intermission.

Canada enjoyed a 2-0 lead on the scoreboard, but Belarus hung around on the
shot clock, with Canada holding a narrow 14-13 advantage through 20
minutes.

Another Belarus breakaway in the opening minute of the second period, this
one by Fyodor Nikolayenya, was parried away smartly by Gaudreau before
McTavish notched his first of the night not soon after for a 3-0 Canadian
advantage.

After Wright was left all alone in front to make it 4-0 just 2:05 later,
the Belarusians pulled one back with five-and-a-half minutes on the clock
through Andrei Loshko’s power-play goal.

Canada weathered the Belarus storm, with McTavish looking off his teammates
and scoring his second of the contest five-hole off an odd-man rush 7:28
into the third period.

Ilya Morozov finished off a nice passing play four minutes later that would
only serve as consolation for Belarus, which will face Russia in its Monday
quarterfinal.

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