TORONTO – Canada's hopefuls for the national team that will play in the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship were workmanlike in a 3-0 victory against a collection of local college hockey stars in an exhibition Saturday afternoon at the Mastercard Centre for Hockey Excellence.
Workmanlike was enough for the team's coach Brent Sutter.
"I was pleased with a lot of things," he said.
Connor McDavid scored on a second-period power play to open the scoring. Josh Anderson added a goal in the first 15 seconds of the third period and Charles Hudon finished a strong game with an empty-netter in the final minute.
"When you think about it, we've had one practice for an hour long and getting everybody together and quickly go through some things," Sutter said, referencing the late-afternoon session here on Friday. "Some things we weren't able to get done through practice time, but we were able to do it through a meeting and some stuff on the board."
Canada had a ton of quality scoring chances, but only got two past a rotating trio of CIS goalies. Garrett Sheehan, who played the first period, was especially strong for the college select team.
For that reason, Sutter is not concerned that his team might have trouble scoring, a problem that plagued the Canadians during the World Junior tournament last year.
"I'm not concerned at all right now," Sutter said. "I know these guys can all score goals. It's about getting them together as a team right now, getting them to understand the roles they are going to have to play on this team."
Even with his overall happiness about the performance, the coach admitted there were things that still need to be addressed. That process will begin Sunday with a morning practice here before all 25 roster players board a flight for Europe and some pre-competition games.
"We've got to be careful in our own zone, make sure we are not soft on pucks," Sutter said. "We have to make sure we are doing everything hard and the right way."