W: Visentin (CAN)
L: Gibson (FIN)
It was an electric atmosphere at Rexall Place in Edmonton as the Canadians (who actually dressed as the visiting team) opened the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship against Finland. The thought among the media was that the Finns would be a tough out this year, just as they have been in years past, but they were out of this one early.
A combination of turnovers and penalty trouble propelled Canada to a 2-0 lead less than five minutes in, and the Finns never gave goaltender Christopher Gibson much help. Ottawa Senators draft pick Mark Stone lead the way with a hat trick, and Mark Visentin made 24 saves to get the win. Jonathan Huberdeau, first-round pick of the Florida Panthers this past June, recorded a five-point game with a goal and four assists.
Now to the good stuff:
- Blue Jackets draft pick Boone Jenner (second round, 2011) made a profound impact on the game and did so right out of the gate. TSN analyst Ray Ferraro praised Jenner's tenacity on the puck, especially given the Finns' skill off the rush and on the power play. Canada coach Don Hay used Jenner heavily 5-on-5 and had him in the top penalty-killing rotation.
- A pair of monster hits in the first period got the crowd going and Jenner delivered both. He opened on a line with Michael Bournival and Brett Connolly, a trio that was very aggressive in the offensive zone and got a few quality chances.
Here's what Twitter had to say about Boone Jenner's performance today:
Scott McLaughlin of College Hockey News (@smclaughlin9) tweets: "Also, I predict that fans from every other country will thoroughly despise Boone Jenner by the end of this tourney. Very physical/pesky."
Patrick King of Rogers Sportsnet: "Can someone remind me why Boone Jenner wasn't a first round pick? He's making an early impact on this game."
More from King: "Boone Jenner already reminds me of Marcus Foligno from last year's tournament. Solid decision bringing Jenner. #2012WJC"
TSN's James Duthie: "Huge Jenner hit before that goal... "And Boone goes the dynamite"