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Canada wins opener of Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup

by Staff

Center Mathew Barzal had a goal and an assist to help lead Canada to a 5-1 victory against Switzerland in the opener of the 11th Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup on Monday at Zimny Stadion in Pietsany, Slovakia.

Barzal, who plays for the Seattle Thunderbirds in the Western Hockey League, is one of many top prospects eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft representing the six-time and defending champion at the tournament. Barzal scored an even-strength goal 10:12 into the first period to give Canada a 2-0 lead.

Dylan Strome of the Erie Otters in the Ontario Hockey League, Lawson Crouse (Kingston Frontenacs, OHL), Mitchell Vande Sompel (Oshawa, OHL) and Mitchell Stephens (Saginaw, OHL) also scored for Canada. Barzal, Strome, Crouse and Vande Sompel are all listed on NHL Central Scouting's Futures List of top draft-eligible prospects for 2015 from each league.

Goalie Zachary Sawchenko (Moose Jaw, WHL), who isn't eligible until the 2016 NHL Draft, made 20 saves to earn the victory for Canada, which has won the annual summer tournament 18 times since 1991. Canada, which plays in Group B with Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland, will play Sweden on Tuesday at 8 a.m. ET.

The top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals on Aug. 15 and the winners face off in the championship game on Aug. 16.

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